Countdown To New Trailer: Look Back To TMP Trailer | TrekMovie.com
jump to navigation

Countdown To New Trailer: Look Back To TMP Trailer November 3, 2008

by TrekMovie.com Staff , Filed under: Feature Films (TMP-NEM),Star Trek (2009 film) , trackback

As first reported here on TrekMovie.com, on Friday November 14th the first theatrical trailer for JJ Abrams Star Trek hits theaters in front of the new James Bond film Quantum of Solace. Over the next week and a half, TrekMovie will countdown to the big event each day by taking a look back at the previous Trek movie trailers, starting today with Star Trek The Motion Picture from 1979.

The human adventure is just beginning
Theatrical trailer for Star Trek: TMP from the summer of 1979.

Commentary:
Although it does not use the "music video" style editing prevalent in today’s movie advertisements, this trailer was typical for its day (for example see trailers for Star Wars and Moonraker). The somewhat cerebral nature of the trailer is inline with the more 2001-like approach of the film itself. Like the new Star Trek movie, the trailer appears aimed at a general movie audience with its mentions of a ‘huge starship’ and ‘300 years into the future.’ It also does its best to play up the romance as well as the action in the film (prominently featuring the very brief appearance of the Klingons). All in all a pretty good trailer for its time.

 

Teaser Trailer
Star Trek The Motion Picture also got an earlier ‘teaser’ trailer (which was not as common back in those days).

Teaser Comments
This first teaser featuring a narration by Orson Welles (who also narrated all the TV spots) seems much more geared for the built-in Trek fans. It has a simple message ‘the Star Trek gang is all back together for a new movie and we spruced up the uniforms and the ship.’ Although it was early on, it did show a good amount of the new effects for the Enterprise. Like with the theatrical, it doesn’t use music from the TOS series or from Jerry Goldsmith’s score for the film (probably because it wasn’t ready). This shares some commonalities with the Star Trek 2009 trailer that came out in January, as it shows off the ‘new’ Enterprise and announces Star Trek is coming back, but doesn’t really say anything about the film itself.

Directors Edition Trailer
In 2001 Star Trek TMP director Robert Wise oversaw the development of a ‘Directors Edition’ DVD, which got its own trailer (which was shown in some theaters).

Although this trailer did feature some of the new effects, it also gives you a sense of how a more modern sensibility would approach making a trailer for the original film.

 

Thanks to Youtubers LeSpock, ShipHunter and OpatkyHomeVideo

 

Comments

1. Ensign Ruiter - November 3, 2008

I am really starting to think Koerner’s big E will be featured in the new film.

2. Brad - November 3, 2008

Second!

It’s hard to think how bad early movie trailers actually were. Still, it’s interesting to see them.

3. The Last Maquis - November 3, 2008

#1…Oh god I hope Not.

Anyway Anthony ,I wanted to know If the Trailer Will be Posted on the Official site on the Same Day.? Not that I’d Mind checking out the New Bond movie, It looks Awesome. Just curious.

4. IIIIIII'M Captain KIRK!!! - November 3, 2008

Glad the trailers have improved in our time. Although it’s nice to see what they used to be.

5. Enterprise - November 3, 2008

It’s ironic that Wells’ War of the Worlds had an anniversary last Friday.

6. Spectre_7 - November 3, 2008

The kid with a mullet and a shuttlecraft pickup truck in Trekkies, turned out to be quite the CGI genius, didn’t he?

7. The Realist - November 3, 2008

I wonder if Paramount will re-release all the Trek films on the big screen one day? That is something i would love to see, TMP is before my time as is TWOk and TSFP and VH! I would dearly love to see them all on the big screen. And I honestly think it would be a cash cow for Paramount, particularly TWOK.

8. Schultz - November 3, 2008

LOL. James T. Palin. :D

9. Mr. AtoZ - November 3, 2008

Wow, it takes me back.

10. Enterprise - November 3, 2008

I saw all of the Trek films in theaters on opening day.

11. Ripper - November 3, 2008

Can i just say that i know most of us were peeved that Paramount decided to push the movie back.

BUT… Isn’t it so much worthwhile that the first new movie since 2002 is actually premiering nearly 30 years after The Motion Picture premiered.

Okay… TMP was Xmas 09 but still… thats 30 years on what has been the Star Trek Movie Franchise.

Wooohooo

12. Ripper - November 3, 2008

Sorry i meant that it was Xmas 79 when TMP premiered

13. Kirk's Revenge - November 3, 2008

I remember first seeing this movie when I was eight or nine years old and thinking it was the most boring thing ever. Now I’m a much more thoughtful 25 year old, and, having recently watched the Director’s Cut, I love this movie. I place it right behind TWOK and The Undiscovered Country on my list.

“Spock, transmit now!”

14. KJTrek - November 3, 2008

Can we really say that the trailers were “bad” back then? They were appropriate for the time, and I’m certain that in the 70’s that was… exciting.

On a different note, my birthday conveniently is on the 7th, so I’m going to see James Bond with some friends (although I wouldn’t go if it weren’t for the trailer ). I won’t tell them the truth though.

15. Harry Ballz - November 3, 2008

Is it my imagination or does the narrator sound like he’s doing a bad Rod Serling imitation?

16. Kirk's Revenge - November 3, 2008

#7

I would be first in line to see TWOK on the big screen.

17. By The Book - November 3, 2008

For many years I pledged to myself that I would not watch this movie again. But I’m glad I broke that promise when I heard about the Director’s Cut. The last two or three times I’ve seen it, I’ve liked it more and more. It’s still not a great film but there are some nice subtle character moments – like Kirk’s nervousness before getting the ship to warp for the first time. And you seriously cannot deny the productions values here. I also recommend the commentary on StarTrek.com. It pointed out alot of things in the movie I hadn’t noticed because I had previously been bored by its pacing.
Funny that the DE trailer did not include any dialogue.

18. By The Book - November 3, 2008

I’ve seen TWOK on the big screen! As a midnight movie! It was heaven.

19. Aaron - November 3, 2008

#7 If the re-release them then they should get a refurbish like Star Wars. maybe upgrade some of the effects a bit.

20. 750 Mang - November 3, 2008

I still have the ST: TMP Happy Meal boxes.

21. Enterprise - November 3, 2008

I remember seeing TWOK, and freaking out when the bugs went into Chekov’s ear.

22. Aaron - November 3, 2008

#17 TMP is an awful movie and way too long. By far the worst Trek movie ever made. This includes V and insurrection.

23. AJ - November 3, 2008

Just get to the STVI trailer with the old show and film images and Christopher Plummer’s narration. That one would do well today as well.

Please let us know who put that one together. Brilliant.

24. Enterprise - November 3, 2008

I sat through TMP thinking, “Man, that ship looks way different. Why does Kirk look older. Why is Spock so grumpy. Man, this cloud thing is HUGE! Why did that guy touch that thing and now he’s glowing?” Of course, I was like 10 years old.

25. Kirk's Revenge - November 3, 2008

#22

Have you seen the Director’s Cut?
It might change your mind. Did for me anyway.

26. AJ - November 3, 2008

When I first saw TMP, I was 14 on opening day, and absolutely in awe of the FX and the “supersized” ships and characters.

It took me a long time to begin to appreciate the film, especially after reading for years that it had been rushed to the cinemas.

The Director’s Cut really does it justice.

27. Captain Dunsel - November 3, 2008

I recall the excitement; the pent up emotion; all building with this trailer. It was the culmination of years of fandom, of looking through the latest poorly copied and stapled Lincoln Enterprises flyer selling Star Fleet patches and tribbles. And suffering through the inglorious medium of the animated series. Eventually, though, I remember standing thick with an eager mob in the lobby of a ONE SCREEN theater that winter of 1979. We had our tickets. The doors to the theater opened. We rushed in, in our quick, nerdy fashion and sat in the best seats would could find. The movie started. New-look Klingons! Big bad ass D7 battle cruisers zapped into nothingness. And then….And then….man what a disappointment. Kirk was all… pissy. Spock was all…pissy, McCoy was, well…pissy. Those endless flybys. And wasn’t this just a big Nomad episode? How could Star Trek on the big screen so miss it? We filed out glumly. The trailer had promised so much. The movie delivered so little.

In those days before ubiquitous entertainment coverage who knew there would be another Star Trek movie in the works? What a surprise to see another trailer a few years later. It was with some skepticism we went to a MULTIPLEX to see the next installment. But the trailer? C’mon, it had Khan! And he turned all silver-haired and angry. And pumped! Thank God they saved Star Trek.

Looking back now I can see the value that TMP brought. The great theme song. The more fulfilled Klingon culture. That gorgeous Enterprise. Even a Spock at peace with his dueling nature. But that evening of 1979 brought a disappointment that we all tried to rationalize away. The promise of this trailer brought it all back.

28. George - November 3, 2008

Has anyone check across the GREAT POND to see if the trailer for the new film is attached to the Bond picture there? I think that movie opend up there last week?

29. Enterprise - November 3, 2008

I love TMP Director’s Cut. It’s pretty good.

30. Enterprise - November 3, 2008

The most things I remember about TWOK was seeing the guy from Fantasy Island all mean. I remember thinking the music for Khan is really cool. I really liked the end battle in the Nebula. I really thought it was cool when Spock was “dead”, yet we heard his voice talking from space at the end of the movie.

31. Brett Campbell - November 3, 2008

#2 — You must be very young:)

’70’s movie trailers are not “early” ones, and they are considerably less cheesy than many from even earlier decades.

32. Spock with a Crowbar - November 3, 2008

I love TMP, always have. I never found it boring, though it’s definitely slow. even as a kid I could appreciate the quiet mystery of the film, and I remember being full of excitement at the suspense.

The director’s cut is even better still!

33. Leonel - November 3, 2008

I’m not entirely sure when I first saw TMP. I would’ve been five years old when it was in the theatres. But I do know how much I fell in love with the Enterprise. *sigh* :)

34. Aragorn189 - November 3, 2008

#28

I’ve checked all over the internet and I haven’t found it so I’m assuming no.

35. DATA KILLED SPOT! - November 3, 2008

“….I’m sorry..”

“Dat you levt Delda 4? Or dachu didin’ even say goodbye?”

ROFL!!!

36. Jorg Sacul - November 3, 2008

I’ve seen them all, opening day. For TMP, I cut out on my afternoon classes in high school… the only time I ever did that.

Love the old trailers, it’s like a peek into a past world. Thanks for posting them!

37. Capt Mike from the Terran Empire - November 3, 2008

I seen all the movies on opening day. In fact i seen the Wrath of Khan 10 times at the movie theater. Remember. Vcrs were just coming out and we did not have one yet at that time so i would save my money and see twok. I liked the motion picture but l love the tmp directors edition. Ill be there on the first midnight showing of Start Trek 11.

38. Author of "The Vulcan Neck Pinch for Fathers" - November 3, 2008

Orson Welles’ TV spots were better written than the trailers.

#7 – I’ve heard stories that there have been efforts to re-release all the Trek movies in a marathon format in select cities, but each effort has ultimately been quashed by Paramount for various reasons. I recall some of the narrative on the TMP Director’s Cut indicate they pushed hard to get Paramount to release the revised version to theaters, but Paramount refused.

I think Trek has been behind the proverbial Paramount eight-ball for the performance of the movies compared to expectations, starting with TMP, and each successive set of subsequent leadership has simply followed suit with the predecessor’s notions about Trek.

It took some fresh leadership to get Trek out of mothballs, and to get the $$$$ backing and production values it has always desperately needed, but never had – outside the first film. Always will wonder how the exposition of theatrical Trek might have been different if Wrath of Khan had been made as the “comeback” movie, with TMP’s original resources – alas…we’ll never know.

Most of us all know the story about how TMP barely made it to theaters, started as a revived TV series, etc, so in that view the fact that TMP ever saw the light of a theater is a bit of a miracle. I remember being absolutely dazzled by the music (and started to learn how to discern different composers over the years as a result, learning to love Jerry Goldsmith’s work, and learning to loathe James Horner’s perpetual retreads…but I digress)

These trailers rock, and take me back 30 years to a theater in Oklahoma City (long since defunct) where the lines for Trek ran down the block….great memories….

39. Mr. Spock - November 3, 2008

Decker-Ilia

Riker- Deanna

Hmmmm…….

40. cellojammer - November 3, 2008

These trailers look pretty good to me. Instead of slam-bang quick cuts, explosive music and dialogue sound bytes, there is a stateliness to these that lets you get a sense of the movie.

Maybe that’s what dates them.

41. Mr. Spock - November 3, 2008

Or……its just you and your inability to let go of the past…..

42. Capt Mike from the Terran Empire - November 3, 2008

I loved the trailers og Tmp. orson Wells did a fantastic job of getting the imagination going. I love the remastered promo and had the pleasure of seeing it on the big screen. Would Love to see the remastered Tmp on the big screen. It would be so kool to see all the movies on the big screen. Just like it was so Kool to see the remastered Tos menagerie Parts 1 and 2 on the big screen.That was a lot of fun.

43. Nelson - November 3, 2008

As Quantum of Solace has opened in England, we probably would have known by now that the Trek trailer made it’s premiere there by now.

I’ve always liked the TMP trailer and I hope that the JJ Abrams will be similar. Though I know it’s not going to happen.

44. Jonathan - November 3, 2008

I was 8 years old when my dad took me to see TMP at a drive in in 1979. All I remember was the klingon attack at the beginning and waking up to see the end credits as we drove away. I slept through the whole movie but today I really enjoy the director’s edition. My wife still has yet to see the whole movie. She’s always asleep by the time Scotty takes Kirk to the Enterprise. I always bet her $20 if she can make it through the whole movie. I still have that $20

45. cellojammer - November 3, 2008

41 Or……its just you and your inability to let go of the past…..

You were able to deduce that about me solely from my statement that I like the style of these trailers. How perceptive of you! You must be the real Mr. Spock.

;-)

46. DATA KILLED SPOT! (aka Mr. Spock) - November 3, 2008

Cellojammer,

I have also deduced that you are hard to offend. And I am more of a Teal’c than a Spock, but you probably don’t who the hell Im talking about!

DKS

47. The Lensman - November 3, 2008

I remember seeing TMP when it opened. And while there some moments of pure awesome….overall the movie left me with a “that’s it?” kinda feel.

I think the second time I saw it, I was falling asleep during the V’Ger flyby.
But in the end, and all this time, only TWOK has ever been able to compete with it for number one for me. Over the years, it has become my favorite Trek movie because it felt the most Trek like, and was also the only time Trek really felt “real”.

While most people compared it to “Changeling” I remember feeling like it was closer to “Corbomite Maneuver” in that you had this big thing and the whole “what is it?” vibe as they try to figure it out.

I saw the movie, the first time, with my little brother, I was 12 at the time, and I’ll never forget the first time they went to warp. When Kirk gave the command….not expecting anything, I turned to my brother to say something and there was this trippy noise and my brothers face lit up and he’s like “WOW!” I turned just in time to see the rainbow streaks disappear into the white flash.

Needless to say I didn’t turn away from the screen after that.

Oddly enough, talking to an old buddy who’s about the same age yesterday about the new movie. He hasn’t seen any of the new pix so when describing them to him, I had to let him know to let go of his preconcieved notions of what Trek is. Just as he had to do when TMP came out.

I for one was not that thrilled with all the changes to…well everything…in TMP. It took me years to really like the movie Enterprise because my favorite was (and still is) the original. Ditto for costumes, bridge, transporter room, phasers, communicators, you get the idea.

Regardless of whatever is said on screen, TMP was basically a reboot. Because there’s just no real way that kind of massive change could occur like that. So I was mixed on it….it was new…but not what I was familiar with and loved. Naturally over time, I got used to it.

Now as an adult, I’m in a better place to prime myself for the changes. Ultimately, I’m looking at this in the same way I did TMP. It will be new and it will require getting used to. But there’ll be a freshness to it, as there was with TMP and part of the fun will be discovering this new Trek world.

48. Even more Life Like - November 3, 2008

40-
I agree, the original trailers feel more epic. But then it was an epic event.

49. Thomas Jensen - November 4, 2008

A very big deal at the time. The return of Star Trek! Not everything we wanted, but a better movie today with the Directors Edition. I’m looking forward to the Blu-Ray release.

50. Bob - November 4, 2008

It’s possible that they could return to a theater. Back when the trailer for Trek 6 was going to be released, there was a marathon of the first 5 films all across the country on one evening. It was the first time I since the 70s that TMP was on the big screen. Was born in 1969 and have gone to the first showing of every one of the films. (Yes, my mom called me in sick to school so I could do it, even back in 1979 for the first one!)

51. ster julie - November 4, 2008

Who was that guy narrating the first video? It did sound like a bad impression of Rod Serling!

52. trekkiegirl1985 - November 4, 2008

#28

Me and my boyfriend went to see the new Bond movie mainly for this reason and sadly i can confirm there is no trailer :(

53. sharpied79 - November 4, 2008

#28 – Nope – I live in the UK and had a few mates see the new Bond film – no Star Trek trailer attached! Damn, will just have to wait until it is released in HD on t’internet!

54. 4 8 15 16 23 42 - November 4, 2008

I am digging on the analog / Moog style synth sounds in these trailers. I feel a sample coming on….

Interesting, though, that they didn’t use any of the orchestral score or motifs that the movie contains. I’m guessing the score wasn’t done by the time the trailer came out.

But, anyway, I generally hate trailers, old style and new. They simultaneously show too much and not enough, or outright distort the quality and pacing of the movie. These are no exception. They play up all the action and none of the conceptually cool side of TMP. No wonder many folks felt let down.

“Pho… ton… tor… peeedoes… away!”

55. Chris M - November 4, 2008

Cool! I’m gonna luv this countdown!!

I’ve always thought TMP was an underrated movie. While it’s not up there with my favourite Star Trek movies, its not down there with the worst either.

56. Toddk - November 4, 2008

I love the wink that shatner gives at the end of the directors cut trailer..Priceline!…i mean priceless!

57. Jim Smith - November 4, 2008

43 – I saw QUANTUM in London’s biggest, most prestigious picture house, the one used for all the premieres and the like. If they were going to attach the TREK trailer to Bond anywhere it would be there. There was no TREK trailer on Bond, you can be assured of that.

Now all we Brits have to do is work at what movie the TREK trailer is on over here..

58. Charlie Jade 2070 - November 4, 2008

-TMP (as a sci-fi movie) has a very stupid story , even for the late of 70’s..i never like it…i hope to not see the same mistake in the new movie …

59. m - November 4, 2008

- I don’t like .. bold women..yeak..!!!

60. Johnny Ice - November 4, 2008

Awesome trailers to the most successful Trek movie at the box office and 2nd most popular movie in 1979:)
The more I see of Star Trek films 20/20, I’ve come to feel that TMP is by far the best of all of them. It truly captures the Trek mantra: “to seek out new life forms”.

61. commander K, USS Sovereign - November 4, 2008

#28 It was rather annoying not having the trailer attached to QoS here in the UK. We always get things last! :(
I just felt they’ve missed a massive marketing opportunity, as Bond is arguably going to be the UK’s biggest film this year and after all, they are trying to penetrate the European market more! Dissapointing move!

62. DJT - November 4, 2008

Apparently, Star Trek > Spell Check .

But alas….

I await JJ’s TRAILER.

63. Johnny Ice - November 4, 2008

58# Wow if you think TMP has a stupid Sci-fi plot you most hate then f.e. TWOK(Moby Dick) & TVH(Whale movie) :)

64. Paul - November 4, 2008

I loved TMP. It had the least racist (i.e. aliens) and least sexist crew out of any of the movies. The pace was a bit slow but I found myself loving the interactions between the characters more than anything else. It was a shame that Sulu, Uhura, Chekov, Rand, and Chapel didn’t get a bit more do but Ilia and Decker were great.

I even liked the uniforms up to a point, although I disliked how there was no logic to the colour or style based on rank or department. I’d be happy if the new franchise takes up the second 5-year mission with modern, more logical, less pyjama-like TMP-style uniforms.

65. The Last Maquis - November 4, 2008

You can Pretend You’re Responding to Xai or Harry If you Want to Anthony.
If you Happen to know and can tell us, Then I’d Just Like to Know as well.

(If the NEW MOVIE Trailer Will be Posted on the “Official site” on the Same Day Quantum Of Solace Is released?)

Thanks again.

P.S. on the subject of Trailers: R.I.P. Don LaFontaine

66. Paulaner - November 4, 2008

TMP: awesome movie, awesome trailer.

67. Krik Semaj - November 4, 2008

Biff.

68. Timncc1701 - November 4, 2008

I was glad that TMP got made, but at the same time (flame away) it removed the passion that was TOS. It was bland, slow, long and dehumanized. It was indeed the removal of all human emotion. It almost killed the franchise. Luckily, Gene Roddenberry was kicked upstairs, and we got Khan to save the franchise. I am not a fan of passionless Trek, even if the original actors are playing the dehumanized characters. I think JJ will get that.

69. SPB - November 4, 2008

ONE THING “TMP” ALWAYS LACKED…

When you hear STAR TREK, what’s one of the first things you think of?

Phasers.

And not a single phaser shot in the entire film. What were they thinking?!?!?

“Belay that phaser order,” my ass.

70. Trek Nerd Central - November 4, 2008

#10. Yeah, me too! I can still feel my heart pounding inside my chest as I sat there waiting for TMP to unspool.

But, ugh. That trailer. It makes the movie even more turgid than it was.

71. Trek Nerd Central - November 4, 2008

#68. Spot on.

72. Jeyl - November 4, 2008

#47. “TMP was basically a reboot.” No way! This movie is a true sequel to the original series! If it was a reboot, then there wouldn’t have been any “Redesigning the Enterprise” or mentionings of the crew’s “Five year mission”.

#68. While I do agree that Star Trek: The Motion Picture isn’t as good or as lively as the following installments, it’s still the one Star Trek movie I happen to watch the most.

#69. Well, there was only one single phaser fire in Star Trek IV and it was used for non-harmful means. Did the film suffer because of it? No. It’s still ranked as one of the most successful Star Trek films out there. Phasers don’t make Trek!

And to give credit where credit’s due, Star Trek: TMP for me still has the best opening I’ve seen in a science fiction film.

73. Baroner - November 4, 2008

TMP sucked, but at the time it was the greatest thing ever. I waited in line for over an hour at the movie theater (anyone remember what it was like to actually wait in line for a movie? I haven’t done that again since the original Superman). When TWOK was coming out, all we could talk about was, “do you think it’s true? Spock DIES???????.

Nerds!

74. James - November 4, 2008

Never really got on with TMP – it seems to stick out from TOS and the rest of the movie series, and not in a good way.

I love the TMP Enterprise, though – the swept back nacelles make it look a lot better. But the uniforms?! What the hell was going on there?

My Grandad, who introduced me to Trek, made me watch ST:II first, jokingly referring to TMP as ‘Star Trek – The Slow Motion Picture’. He was dead right. ST:II, III, IV & VI are my favourites – if you watch them one after the other, you get a real sense of continuity and saga. Just miss out the bad ones – TMP and ST:V.

On a lighter note, I recently watched the Director’s Edition – LOADS BETTER. And of course, it can never take the prize for Worst Ever Trek Film – ST:V has that down, hopefully for all time.

Let’s hope ST:XI is more motion picture and less slow motion picture!

75. Neal - November 4, 2008

Music cues. Anyone recognize the music in the trailer? I am thinking the first cue heard is some action music from the film “Black Sunday”, scored by John Williams in 1977.

76. JL - November 4, 2008

“Pho… ton… tor… peeedoes… away!”

HAHAHAW!!

Also, before that:

“Projecti-iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiinnnng astero-oooiid”

TMP. Man what can I say that hasn’t been said before. Awesome music, majestic scope, KILLER cinematography by – I believe it was Geoffrey Unsworth..? (same dude who did such a flawless job on Super The Movie). But wow, a basic flaw throughout: not enough action.

Too bad they spent so much GD time floating through V’Ger… what a wasted opportunity. Didn’t someone at one point look at the script and say “Jesus, we don’t have any action in 80% of this film…”

I remember dragging my parents to see this (I was like 14 years old) and sitting there thinking “Oh my god, this is not very exciting at all… what the hell is this boring V’Ger trip that’s taking 20 minutes… this better be great when they get to the heart of this thing…”

I looked over at my parents and saw them so bored to tears. heh, I felt bad they had to endure this movie.

I agree the Director’s Cut is a much, much better film. No matter what they did though – as a sci-fi movie, TMP is still not what it could have been.

77. mntrekfan - November 4, 2008

I was 10 on the opening day for TMP. Southtown theater at the time had only one screen and it was huge! I remeber you could but pins and such. I still have my insgnia pin like Kirk’s admiral pin and an Enterprise. I remember how the music freaked me a bit and how threatening the cloud was. I’d love to see TMP in the theater again, but this time, make it the director’s cut!

78. ShipHunter - November 4, 2008

I think The Motion Picture is still one of the best Star Trek Movies, espacially in the Directors Edition which makes this film truely awesome!

In my opinion it is the only “real” Star Trek Film…it’s about Adventure, discovery and things that no one has seen before…it’s a really trek journey like in the good old Star Trek Days. This is REAL Trek!

Sure this film is not full of action – it’s more like a Thriller, I think the best grade for the Film is “Fascinating”

Good point to look at the old Trailers and the old days!

By the way…thanks for linking to one of my Youtube Videos – it makes me a bit proud to be linked at trekmovie.com – so thank you!

79. JL - November 4, 2008

#69

“And not a single phaser shot in the entire film. What were they thinking?!?!?”

I HAVE SAID THIS REPEATEDLY SINCE 1979. OMG, not ONE FREAKING PHASER SHOT!!

You have to almost laugh (seriously) at the point in the movie when the probe (in raw form) was shifting its way around the bridge (it looks bad ass to this day, btw) and the security guard is just basically doing nothing!! I know Kirk said “It’s only interested in the ship…” etc but MAN, you would have thought the security guard would have been a little more vigilant/aggressive.

80. Gary - November 4, 2008

DeForest Kelly is “flipped” in the trailer: His hair is parted the wrong way and the insignia is on the wrong side of this shirt.

81. Mark from Germany - November 4, 2008

#78 I completely agree. To me, TMP is the most “Star trek”-like movie of all the movies. Closer to TOS than everything Star trek that came out after TWOK. If the new movie will be some kind of symbiosis between TOS, TMP and TWOK, which I hope it will, I will be very happa

82. JL - November 4, 2008

#74

“Star Trek – The Slow Motion Picture”

Your Grandad was correct, SIR!

83. Trek Nerd Central - November 4, 2008

I always thought TMP sucked for reasons other than the lack of phaser fire. (No matter how much I loved it, and still do, it does continue to suck on repeat viewings.)

Think of the best TOS episodes — City on the Edge of Forever, for instance. The Enemy Within. Mirror, Mirror. Unless I’m forgetting something, none of those had any phaser battles. . . though City does have that hobo accidentally offing himself.

84. Smike van Dyke - November 4, 2008

TMP is now my favourite movie. Having seen it time and again it even outranks TWOK and TUC in my personal ranking. I was born in 1980, so I never had the chance to see it on the big screen. I grew up with Next Gen and the spin-offs and I didn’t like it the first time I saw ito on a small TV screen in awful quality back in 1993.

It took me three of four times watching TMP until I got it. It is so special and unique on so many levels. I’ve seen it way more than 10 times and it really grows with each time I watch it. It’s a symphony beyond imagination. The score is beautiful and haunting, the visuals are so exciting, especially for their time, but they aged quite well, especially with the DC updates.

That “Where Nomad Has Gone Before” criticism is beyond my comprehension. The story may be quite similar but the EXECUTION is so much more in TMP. And execution is far more vital to the overall impact than the plot in my book.

I really hope we are going to see at least one more Trek movie or episode going in that direction…TNG’s “Where No One Has Gone Before” and some VOY and ENT episodes scratched the surface visually but nothing like TMP ever transpired again with the realm of Trek…

Maybe genre stuff like Solaris, Fountain, Event Horizon to some degree…but still: TMP is the best to date…

85. JL - November 4, 2008

#72

“Well, there was only one single phaser fire in Star Trek IV and it was used for non-harmful means. Did the film suffer because of it? No.”

Ya know why? ST IV was a captivating, entertaining, fun movie with heart, wit, personality, and excitement. If Mr. Nimoy spent 25 or 30 minutes on the “slingshot-around-the-sun-and-travel-back-in-time” scene, people would have fallen asleep during Trek IV. Kinda like when they spend 25-30 minutes floating through V’Ger during TMP.

“Phasers don’t make Trek!”

No, but come on. I think you’re missing the point. That being “This is a Star Trek film… let’s have some real action.”

86. C.S. Lewis - November 4, 2008

Strange. There is a smugness among the youngerer critics of the “old” style movie trailers. They are too racist. They are too sexist. They are too slow. They are cheesy.

Yet those are the exact sorts of criticisms that date, uniquely, to the 1970s and would have been considered in bad taste in any other time.

So I guess that means we are living in the ADD version of the 1970s.

Now there’s a scary thought.

Thanks goodness for Trek’s inherent optimism that we shall survive the 1970s — twice! “Beam me up, Mr Scott!”

87. 4 8 15 16 23 42 - November 4, 2008

78 / 81 — I agree. I enjoy the more action-oriented fare that followed TMP, but to me it is a better example of “pure” Science Fiction: dealing with issues and concepts, not just space battles.

Before the rest of you jump on me, I am *not* saying the other ST movies don’t deal with issues and concepts, but TMP is the most committed in this regard, IMO.

88. 4 8 15 16 23 42 - November 4, 2008

Oh, I forgot to qualify: I do exclusively watch the Director’s Cut now, so perhaps I’m giving TMP an unfair advantage because of that, but I don’t think so, really.

89. 4 8 15 16 23 42 - November 4, 2008

The whole point of no phaser fire in TMP is that our heroes are unbelievably outgunned, and being the heroes they are, they know that it’s not all about fighting.

90. JL - November 4, 2008

#83

“Think of the best TOS episodes — City on the Edge of Forever, etc… those with no phaser battles…”

100% CORRECT, yes, I am right there with you. But TMP lacked many other things. It lacked humor, it lacked any real strategy (the lingua-code sequence with Spock does not count as real strategy), it lacked spark, cadence, and soul.

I actually enjoy TMP (parts of it) but for different reasons than what I would normally enjoy a Trek film. I like some of the sets, certain scenes, certain dialog. Hell, I even like the “dental hygenist” outfit Kirk wears during the mission for some reason.

But overall, when I think of TMP I think of the word STERILE. I think sterile is the appropriate word.

91. Danny - November 4, 2008

1

If I were JJ I would have BOUGHT Koerner’s Enterprise design!

92. JL - November 4, 2008

btw, my favorite scene – by far – is the wormhole sequence. I just love when Kirk is turned around facing away from the viewscreen when the wormhole starts coming toward them, and then he spins around and BAM! What great direction! What a dramatic scene that is, just love it.

93. JL - November 4, 2008

RE: The teaser trailer above

Gotta love them Tempest graphics!

94. ShipHunter - November 4, 2008

Why you call TMP all “Sterile”? There were big Star Trek moments in it…the return of McCoy, the return of Spock…all of this were big Family moments – even Kirk and the Enterprise had the big Family moment and at the end Kirk, Mc Coy and Spock standing on the bridge and they give their adventure a conclusion – a final sentence like in the old days.

And the last moment of the Film “Heading Sir?” “Out there…thataway” – the typical Kirk smiling and the Enterprise goes to warp….WOW! Great!

Sure TMP is more a Sci-Fi Movie but…remember Star Trek is Science Fiction. Most of the Trekkies hated the last two movies…why? Because they were stupid Action…it was too much of it. Star Trek is not about fighting it is about adventure, discovery and PEACEFUL conclusions….this is what I learned from TOS.

95. Paul - November 4, 2008

Remember seeing this when it first came out and that Enterprise on the bigscreen was awe inspiring the vision & scale was just incredible and a once in a lifetime opportunity. Douglas Trumball ,John Dykstra & Robert Swarthe were true masters as they had to create FX miracles using photochemical solutions, tricks & limitations of the era.

For anyone interested there is some very rare stuff below including an unused trailer for the DVD release which got scrapped when the release date changed as well as unused CGI FX shots and an enhanced commentary.

http://www.startrek.com/startrek/videoview?id=4401

http://www.startrek.com/startrek/view/features/bst/article/4389.html

http://www.startrek.com/startrek/view/features/bst/article/2301143.html

96. Paul - November 4, 2008

Forgot to say that STMP for many years was the highest budgeted film @ $44M including $32M for FX alone!! That was a huge figure for FX adjusted for inflation it would be more than most movies cost to make nowadays!!

97. Jeffries Tuber - November 4, 2008

Personally, I’d love another 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY-style entry in TREK canon. I say this because I love the Horatio Hornblower/Wagon Train rollicking and romantic vision of space travel… and I think it’s important that occasionally the Enterprise run in to some deeply scary, strange and non-humanoid action.

Although it’s rarely voiced as such here, the failure of the franchise series DS9, VOY and ENT to have any cultural impact had a lot to do with how routine everything had become–namely, that every alien they ran in to had a foam rubber forehead and was directly analogous to 20th Century American politics.

98. neonknights - November 4, 2008

Poor Orson Welles! I felt sorry for him when he had to say “A Robert Wise film”. He’s making commercial voice-overs for a living while his former editor is making huge blockbuster movies. :-(

99. Trek Nerd Central - November 4, 2008

#90 You and I are in complete agreement here. As a fanzoid I love ST:TMP, and I’ll never forget the thrill of seeing cast, crew & ship reunited on the big screen opening night.

But as an objective observer, I recognize that the movie lacks a beating heart or any other trace of recognizable humanity. “Sterile” is the word. (Sorry, #94.)

100. JL - November 4, 2008

Right on, #99

#94, here’s how I see it. It’s almost like making a gormet meal. You can have the necessary ingredients, all the best appliances, the best quality components, etc. But at the end of it all, how are they put together? Too much of one thing, not enough of another, etc.

It can all look good on paper, it’s all there laid out. But. Does the person putting it together have the right touch? The right TLC? Are they missing something – missing a vital ingredient?

For TMP, they had the cast, they had a five-star director, state-of-the-art effects (some of which are absolutely spellbinding, even to this day!).
They also had a great premise (the thrill of discoving “what’s out there”, perfect for Trek)… but really, it came out fairly half-baked and quite bland. With a few exceptions, pretty darn boring.

My two-and-a-half cents

101. JL - November 4, 2008

#98

Very interesting – did not know that, Neon

102. Scott - November 4, 2008

The current poll question (Did you see ST:TMP in theaters?) makes me feel old as dirt. I was 16, and couldn’t wait to see it. My grandmother went with me, and the poor woman fell asleep halfway through V’Ger’s innards. Couldn’t blame her. It was a pretty sluggish slog.

I did like the first hour, getting the crew back together, but after that it became “The Changeling” on soporifics.

Scott B. out.

103. Out There - November 4, 2008

What hurts the movie is flying through Vger for 87 hours. If they cut most of that part out, it’s not a bad movie.

And I understand why they had the shuttlepod with Kirk flying by the Enterprise for a long time — to show the ship in a way never seen on TV — but it also stops the momentum of the movie dead in its tracks.

So I think if they cut 20-30 minutes out of the movie, the pacing would be a lot better, and you’d have a far more enjoyable experience.

There are several character moments in the movie, especially with Spock learning that logic is not “all that” and Kirk grappling with Decker over command decisions. But they get lost in the midst of the long special effects sequences.

In regards to the comment above about the big budget of the movie: The start-up costs for the scrubbed TV series were rolled into the budget for the movie. Yeah, it still was an exepensive movie to make for its day, but millions were spent on the preliminary work for the TV show — Money that went down the drain when they had to redo everything when it turned into a movie. The script was padded because of the change in plans as well.

104. Dr. Image - November 4, 2008

#98- Yes!
TMP was the most timeless of Treks, and ahead of its time in many ways.

I saw it in the theater and was in fx heaven! I mean Trumbull AND Dykstra!
Rushed they may have been, but Trek hasn’t seen effects designed with such an artist’s eye since.
A flawed film, but brought to where I should have been with the D-Cut.

#76 JL- I believe Geoffrey Unsworth died during the making of Superman.

105. The TOS Purist aka The Purolator - November 4, 2008

Going for a “2001-like approach” with TMP was the first of many mistakes. By 1979, 2001 was already a decade old, whereas the other big space movie “Star Wars” was only about two years old. Since “Star Wars” is the film that reinvigorated the science-fiction film franchise and spawned all sorts of space-related entertainment (including TMP), why didn’t TMP draw inspiration from “Star Wars?” Surely it would have been more in line with the action-packed TV show if it had. Why did they go with the “2001” style? That just put people to sleep…and was the first step in moving away from the spirit of The Original Series.

106. JL - November 4, 2008

#104

You are right.

Just looked it up… Richard H. Kline is listed as Cinematographer for TMP.

Did a really nice job, IMO

107. ByGeorge - November 4, 2008

The story line behind TMP was actually pretty good but they gave the film the wrong feel which spilled over into the characters and their interactions. They gave TMP the feel of 2001 A Space Odyssey, a cold, mysterious, inaccessible feeling and we as an audience felt like we were just spectators watching it. Unfortunately that was not the feel we knew and loved about TOS Trek. Trek was warm, passionate and accessible. When we watched it we felt like participants instead of just spectators. We felt right along with the characters who were people we could relate to. TMP was designed to feel futuristic and mysterious to us that we could not relate to and feel along with the characters anymore.

TMP’s story line was good and it could have been a good movie if they had given the basic story over to better screen writers, ones who understood Trek’s warm, passionate, accessible feeling and character interactions better.

108. JL - November 4, 2008

From a review by James Berardinelli

“Star Trek: The Motion Picture arrived in the wake of Star Wars and, with Paramount’s publicity department in high gear, the general public was expecting something as big, loud, and exciting as George Lucas’ 1977 adventure. What they got instead was a slow-moving, occasionally thought-provoking, visually impressive science fiction yarn. Non-fans were bored, and even fans recognized that something was missing.”

Have to agree with practically every word in this guy’s review.

Link
http://www.reelviews.net/movies/s/st1.html

109. Closettrekker - November 4, 2008

I love TMP. I rank it as my second favorite ST film of all time, right behind TWOK. The Director’s Cut is fantastic. I think it eliminates much of what was bad about the original theatrical version. It is by far the best science fiction story in any Star Trek feature film, and its overall worth to the franchise is highly underrated.

Many have pointed to the standoffish behavior of the characters and the lack of warmth prevalent in TOS, but I find their behavior exactly as it should be, given the seperate paths taken in the 2.5 years since the end of the 5 year mission.

Perhaps my favorite element in TMP is the development in my favorite character. This is the turning point for Spock in his journey towards peace within himself and between his two warring halfs (human and Vulcan), IMO. Like V’Ger, Spock is searching for answers (“Is this all that I am? Is there nothing more?”). In the wake of his “encounter” with V’Ger, his answers come—but, as so often is the case, not in the form in which he expected. It is not ancient Vulcan ritual, or the purging of emotion which clears the path for Spock. In the end, the V’Ger incident is—IMO—the catalyst for Spock becoming the man we saw in the next 5 feature films. He becomes a man who no longer feels uncomfortable in his own half-human skin. He knows where he belongs, and I think comes to the realization that (to borrow a line from a film many years later), “Logic is the beginning of wisdom…not the end.”

I think that Dr. McCoy also finds that his place is beside his friend, Jim Kirk. Although his return to the Enterprise is somewhat “less voluntary”, by the end of the film, I believe his path is as clear as Spock’s. It appears as though all it really takes for Bones to assume his familiar role by his captain’s side is a plea from his friend (“Bones, I need you!”).

I also enjoy the arc for Kirk, which begins in TMP, is revisited heavily in TWOK, and finally resolved in TVH. James T. Kirk’s place is in the command chair of the Enterprise, and nowhere else.

In many ways, the journey toward answers about their (the Big Three’s) existence and place in the Universe parallels V’Ger’s own quest for answers about the same. As a child, I lacked the appreciation for this film I would later develop. I certainly did not expect it to hold up then as well as it has for me, but 30 years later, I wouldn’t trade TMP for all the Orion slave girls in the galaxy.

I love every minute of it. If I were at home instead of in my office—-I’d watch it right now!

110. JL - November 4, 2008

#107

“They gave TMP the feel of 2001 A Space Odyssey, a cold, mysterious, inaccessible feeling and we as an audience felt like we were just spectators watching it.”

I agree wholeheartedly. Good point there.

111. JL - November 4, 2008

#109

“I love every minute of it…”

Wow, I wouldn’t go that far but I do find that I agree with some of the things you are saying re: TMP in general. Hell, I’d like to watch it tonight myself. But everytime I do watch it I fell a void, almost as if it was not really a Star Trek movie, but a movie from a different franchise. It’s hard to describe… it just gives me a cold feeling.

Overall, I guess my take away re: this film is that even though I do really enjoy portions of it – and the general premise – I feel it is nowhere near human enough, nowhere near spirited enough, and too sanitized in its approach. I actually like a lot of it, love some of it, but it doesn’t hit that peak of excellence I expect from a TOS film.

112. Closettrekker - November 4, 2008

#110—Only a fan of the original series could appreciate TMP for the great deal more it has to offer than Mr. Bernadelli gives it credit for. A general moviegoer wouldn’t have the slightest bit of appreciation for where it took the characters we all came to love in TOS, and as a child, I didn’t appreciate it either.

I have an enirely different perspective on it now, having revisited it as an adult, and after 5 subsequent films featuring the original characters. TMP is crucial in the further development of those characters (as I said in #109), IMO. I love it.

113. star trackie - November 4, 2008

#111 ” feel it is nowhere near human enough, nowhere near spirited enough, and too sanitized in its approach. I actually like a lot of it, love some of it, but it doesn’t hit that peak of excellence I expect from a TOS film.”

Well said. After 10 long years, it was great to see our old friends again, but something was definitely “off”.

114. Closettrekker - November 4, 2008

#113—“After 10 long years, it was great to see our old friends again, but something was definitely off.”

There’s no question in my mind that it is supposed to be. That is kind of the whole point behind the parallel journey of V’Ger and the Big Three.

115. Trek Nerd Central - November 4, 2008

#102. Me too. On the one hand, it’s depressing to realize I’m among the 32 percent old enough to have seen the flick when it first came out. But on the other hand, I’m kind of relieved — it means Trek appeals to viewers younger than my old bones.

116. Thomas Jensen - November 4, 2008

At the end of the movie when V’GR found a better place to go, it spit out the three Klingon ships over earth and Kirk had to convince the Klingons of the situation everyone was in, as the Klingons were firing on the Enterprise. The Enteprise is forced to destroy one of the Klingon vessels as it was preparing to target the earth below.

Finally, after a saucer separation, Kirk convinces the Klingons to stand down.

A much better action-oriented ending to the movie. Some of this is in storyboard form, indicating what they might have done, but for the many reasons discussed everywhere, wasn’t the ending that the movie needed.

117. Adam Bomb 1701 - November 4, 2008

I was 25 when this film came out, and saw it twice its first weekend. The first time was in Loew’s State, a big Manhattan theater, with 70mm projection. I remember one guy saying “Romulans” when the Klingon ships first appeared.
The main cinematographer for “TMP” was Richard H. Kline, not Geoffrey Unsworth. Unsworth died in October, 1978. Bruce Logan was DP for the Klingon scenes; Charles Wheeler (IIRC) was DP for the “Spock Walk”.
Watch the DVD of “TMP” with the commentary turned on. The late Robert Wise had the best stuff to say; he told good stories about why the film was rushed.
What Trumbull, Dykstra and their crew pulled off for “TMP” was nothing short of miraculous, considering they had less than nine months to do essentially two years work. Trumbull checked himself into the hospital once his work was finished; he was that exhausted.
There was a system to the uniforms, but I’ve kind of forgotten it. I think the grey ones were for bridge offivers, and the brown uniformswere for people seldom on the bridge.

118. rob - November 4, 2008

sorry guys. st:tmp was the only big screen movie…the rest were two hour tv episodes

119. JL - November 4, 2008

#116

Sounds so much better.

But it *still* would not have fixed the snail’s pace of the Big E fly-by or V’Ger riverboat ride.

120. Binker - November 4, 2008

I saw Star Trek II-IV in the theatre, but not on opening day, but back in the mid-’90s. How? Well at the Shea’s Performing Arts Center, the type of place where they have those plays like The Technicolor Dreamcoat and Cats. Well, I saw those three back to back on a big screen, in a styled theatre that reminded me of either of old theatres back in the day or just ones with the upper and lower balconies (which this one did have). It was neat. The only things that sucked were the intermissions that would pop in the middle with no warning, like in the scene before Kirk, McCoy and Saavik beamed aboard the ship: Kirk “There is no such–” INTERMISSION. See what I mean? The other thing was the food which was just Pop and Popcorn. I guess I had to remind myself that Shea’s wasn’t the normal type of theatre, with no hot dogs or something. But all in all, back then it was cool. I wouldn’t mind doing that again with other movies like Batman or Superman.

121. rob - November 4, 2008

Closettrekker

that was a fantastic crittique of the film….

122. Jeyl - November 4, 2008

#79. “you would have thought the security guard would have been a little more vigilant/aggressive.”

Robert Wise states in his commentary track that there were in fact TWO security guards who entered the bridge and open fired on the probe. One of the guards was zapped away as a result leaving the other guard to back off. That is why you don’t see that one single guard entering the bridge because it would have shown two guards entering. The reason why Robert Wise cut it was so that the casualty list at the end of the film would be more dramatic if it was just Ilia and Deckard.

It’s nice how they decided to make this a non-redshirt event.

123. JL - November 4, 2008

What I would like to see in Trek XI is some scenes along the lines depicted in Alien. Hear me out.

Alien was very brutal. It was dark, creepy, thrilling, captivating, etc on and on. But there were a couple of scenes where I have always thought Ridley Scott just nailed it with regard to the cast of characters. When the crew of the Nostromo was sitting around the table exchanging dialog, I really love the genuine feeling it gives. The characters seem real. They disagree, they laugh, etc – at one point a couple of them even poke fun at each other. This, to me, is a realistic depiction of how people might interact as a close-knit crew on a mission. Not staged; more realistic.

I’m not sure any other sci-fi movie has done it so well.

I hope JJ and the others give us some of these moments in Trek XI. I think it would really add to this level of realism they keep talking about.

124. JL - November 4, 2008

#122

Also listened to the commentary track but woah, I missed that for some reason. Interesting and thanks for sharing

125. JL - November 4, 2008

Also, #122

“The reason why Robert Wise cut it was so that the casualty list at the end of the film would be more dramatic if it was just Ilia and Deckard.”

No, to me, it would have been more exciting if one of the security guys actually fired his phaser and got knocked back. But hey that’s me.

126. Closettrekker - November 4, 2008

#121—Thanks.

127. Cervantes - November 4, 2008

Disappointed that the Trek trailer wasn’t attached to the 007 Movie here in the U.K. as it’s had huge audiences since it opened.

Oh well, no doubt it will appear with something as predictably ‘sci-fi’-related as the ‘Day the Earth Stood Still’ remake which opens in the near future…. Meaning I might have to suffer Keanu’s usual ‘Gort’-like performance so that I can see it on the Big Screen…. The internet just won’t be the same to watch it on after all this build-up….

128. Brent - November 4, 2008

Expectations. In the summer of 1979 when I first saw the teaser I felt a chill run up my spine. At last, after years of waiting only a few months to wait. The anticipation was huge. The coming of the film became almost an obsession. Then the film which I saw in Santa Barbara on opening night. My reaction when it was over was similar to VGERS’S. IS THIS ALL THERE IS? IS THERE NOTHING MORE?

Spock summed it up for me in Amok Time.
“After a time, you may find that having is not so pleasing a thing after all as wanting. It is not logical, but it is often true.”

129. YARN - November 4, 2008

TMP was a drag because it kicked the joy of seeing our old friends on screen again in the ribs to service a more or less rehashed story line from TOS. It was like going to a reunion and finding out that you really had lost touch with all of your old pals and then wanting to go home. Kirk is a power hungry jerk. Spock is more uptight than ever. And McCoy is grumpier than ever. We weren’t going to see TMP just to see a science fiction film (any old crew on any old ship could enconter a BDO). We were going to see familiar relationships.

Couple that awkwardness with a painfully slow story (Star Trek: The Motion SIckness – Star Trek: The Motionless Picture – were the jabs thrown by critics – and they had a point – how many times can we watch the bridge crew blink in awe at the view screen – how many V’Ger cloud screensavers can we endure before losing interest?) and the film is a bust.

130. JL - November 4, 2008

#128 and #129

As Commander McBragg would say… “Quite!”

131. thomoz - November 4, 2008

I saw a trailer at a convention wayyyy back in the day
that had a bunch of later-discarded Robert Abel work,
including a really nice camera dolly shot that dropped into the bridge
thru the saucer light, ala “The Cage”. I sure wish I had a copy of that trailer now, it was cool beyond description, and resembled Abel’s work for 7Up.

132. Closettrekker - November 4, 2008

#129—-I think that much of what made critics call it “The Motion-less Picture” is cleaned up quite well in the director’s cut. Unfortunately, it took over two decades to give it the editing treatment it deserved.

What hurt TMP most, IMO, was the expectation that it would be a Star Trek version of Star Wars, with similar impact. It simply wasn’t built for general audience appreciation. It wasn’t an action-packed mythological type story set in space. It was a science fiction story which really required a background in the characters to appreciate.

I think that the criticism of many fans toward TMP is a result of their opinion as to what kind of story it ‘should’ have been. As a result, many of them miss the forest for the trees, IMO.

It is a fantastic sci-fi story, and the character development is, IMO, far too underappreciated.

133. Closettrekker - November 4, 2008

#129—-“Kirk is a power hungry jerk”

Kirk’s is suffering from regret over accepting promotion to the Admiralty, and the behavior you speak of is a result of feeling insecure about his decision to take command from Decker. He is attempting to prove to himself, as much as to Decker and everyone else, that it was the correct decision. His behavior does not become more balanced until McCoy’s intervention (and I would submit that as classic Trek).

“Spock is more uptight than ever…And McCoy is grumpier than ever”

see post #109….Is there something you disagree with about that assessment of the state of the characters and their development within the story?

“We were going to see familiar relationships.”

And what you got instead was a more realistic depiction of how those relationships would be altered in 2.5 years of seperation, and an event which inspires a return to that familial relationship in the end.

134. The real Mr. Atoz - November 4, 2008

TMP is a great film. Especially the Directors cut.

Hey all you Brits, How is the new Bond movie?

135. YARN - November 4, 2008

“I think that the criticism of many fans toward TMP is a result of their opinion as to what kind of story it ’should’ have been. As a result, many of them miss the forest for the trees, IMO.”

The story wasn’t that great. It’s a BDO story. It’s Nomad Part Deux. It does not even approach 2001 in terms of serious or “hard” science fiction writing.

I saw it in theaters. I own the directors cut. I have seen it many times.

What it should have been was “entertaining.” The filmmakers lost sight of the fun for the storytelling. TWOK is a perfect contrast to this film.

136. DATA KILLED SPOT! - November 4, 2008

HA! The current poll shows that young voters are leading the race! And I am not talking about the current election….

137. sean - November 4, 2008

I love TMP, but it is a very frigid, slow film. The Director’s Cut helped it immensely. That was a remastering effort well worth the time. Especially in the fact that you actually get to *see* V’ger. That always bothered me in the initial cut – they talk about the cloud dissipating but you never see the bloody thing! Just some cheesetastic 70’s laser light effects. And the new effects were done in such a way that they blended with the original work. Nothing contrasted wildly from what was contained in the initial release.

That being said, TMP always stands apart from all the other TOS cinematic efforts, in my mind. It always felt slightly out of phase, especially since all subsequent efforts had entirely different looks & costuming. Though I thought it was nice that Trek II still attempted continuity with Spock & Kirk’s discussion about Kirk assuming command, ‘ego’s’, etc.

138. YARN - November 4, 2008

#133

Yeah, I get it. Indeed, I have gotten it for quite some time. It just does not work. I never watched Star Trek to get a realistic psychological portrayal of human relationship development. As Uhura says to ensign punk in ST3 “This isn’t reality. This is fantasy!”

Part of what made ST fun was the triad of Kirk, Spock, and McCoy. STMP sucks the joy out of the trio in the vain attempt to offer realism and to push the plot along (see, Spock is like VGer! they are both on a quest – blah blah).

If STMP were a great science fiction film, then the subversion of fan expectations to get the comfort food of the triad of Kirk, Spock, and McCoy as we (more or less) knew them, would be OK. But STMP is not a great science fiction film. It is not really cerebral. It’s just long… so very long.

139. simonkey - November 4, 2008

THOSE WERE THE DAYS…..!!!!!

140. Closettrekker - November 4, 2008

#135—I do find it entertaining, almost as much as TWOK (yet in an entirely different way).

When I saw it for the first time, it was the original theatrical version. I thought it was boring (through the eyes of a child).

I almost believe that the director’s cut is a whole different movie.

It ranks second to me just below TWOK.

“The story wasn’t that great. It’s a BDO story. It’s Nomad Part Deux.”

“The Changeling” story has some glaring similarities, but it is hardly the ‘same’ story, nor is its theme even close.

“It does not even approach 2001 in terms of serious or “hard” science fiction writing. ”

Maybe, but I was not attempting to compare it to 2001:ASO. The only thing in that regard I have said here is that it is the best sci-fi story of any Star Trek film to date, and I stand by that.
I do not measure its worth by that alone, however. I think that TMP is underrated in its value to the development of the TOS-era characters into the era of TWOK-TUC. I admire the film very much.

“TWOK is a perfect contrast to this film.”

On that, we can agree. As much as I love TMP as a fanboy film, it wasn’t what Star Trek needed to appeal to the largest possible audience and sustain interest in the franchise for a decade. TWOK, on the other hand, is very much that film.

141. Clinton - November 4, 2008

I remember the teaser trailer with great fondness. I was attending a small, regional sci-fi convention and the trailer was on a loop. People would come by all day long and stare at the “footage,” trying to guess the plot and suggest the context of every single image. Hmmm. Some things never change.

142. Closettrekker - November 4, 2008

#138—“It just does not work. I never watched Star Trek to get a realistic psychological portrayal of human relationship development. ”

Nor am I looking for that above all else, but I certainly can appreciate it when it is there.

“Part of what made ST fun was the triad of Kirk, Spock, and McCoy.”

It is indeed ‘part’ of what made Star Trek fun, and I don’t find that completely lacking in TMP, particularly in some of the banter between Kirk and McCoy. I also find the humanistic quality of the Big Three to be equally ‘fun’, even when it steps out of the familiar as it does somewhat in TMP.

You are free to dismiss the qualities of TMP. I, for one, will continue to appreciate them.

143. YARN - November 4, 2008

#140.

Well, I must not hate the film entirely or I would not have watched it so many times or purchased it.

The refit of the Enterprise was outstanding.

It’s just that everytime I look at the film, it seems like such a missed opportunity. Here you have the original crew before they were really too old to be hoppin’ galaxies. Here we finally had a good budget. Bob Wise is not exactly a slouch as a director, so this looked good too.

The film explores existential funk a little too well.

144. Andy Patterson - November 4, 2008

Listening to the director’s cut trailer reminds me that I always preferred the original smoother, slurred trumpet line of the main theme than the shorter, tongued, and more marcato version that TNG did when they re-recorded it. The original was more stately to me.

145. Peter N - November 4, 2008

I have to admit that these comments about ST:TMP really made me curious about revisiting the film, so I just went out and bought the Director’s Edition (a steal at $10, which was covered by gift cards – a worthwhile investment!). While it is not one of my favorites, I have always appreciated the scale of the film which was quite stunning – the first reveal of the refitted Enterprise, Kirk & Co. walking on the saucer section (perhaps FC’s trip to the deflector dish was an homage?), and Vger’s unbelievable hugeness (bigger than TNG’s Dyson Sphere from Relics?), just to name a few bigger-than-life moments. I’ll look forward to watching it tonight.

146. Closettrekker - November 4, 2008

#137—-“The Director’s Cut helped it immensely. That was a remastering effort well worth the time. Especially in the fact that you actually get to *see* V’ger. That always bothered me in the initial cut – they talk about the cloud dissipating but you never see the bloody thing! Just some cheesetastic 70’s laser light effects. And the new effects were done in such a way that they blended with the original work. Nothing contrasted wildly from what was contained in the initial release.”

Well said.

“It’s just that everytime I look at the film, it seems like such a missed opportunity. Here you have the original crew before they were really too old to be hoppin’ galaxies. Here we finally had a good budget. Bob Wise is not exactly a slouch as a director, so this looked good too.”

Many years ago, I would have said that I shared that opinion wholeheartedly. Time has changed my perspective, though.

I still agree that it was, in many ways, a missed opprotunity. Star Trek, as a result of TMP’s disappointment in general audience approval, was relegated to B-movie budgeting from that point forward. As I said before, it wasn’t what the franchise needed.

That and my review of it today are two very different things, however. I enjoy it for what it ‘is’ today, as opposed to continuing to critique it for what it was ‘not’ in 1979.

It is the second most watched Star Trek film in my house.

147. Peter N - November 4, 2008

Yo Andy – you are the trumpet critic!

148. TL - November 4, 2008

I recall seeing the trailer at the theatre when I was a kid. I thought it was cool with the lights shinning on the new ship’s lettering NCC-1701, I prefer those trailers to the fast cuts of today, I also enjoyed the narration.

149. YARN - November 4, 2008

#146

“Many years ago, I would have said that I shared that opinion wholeheartedly. Time has changed my perspective, though.”

So the film has slowly beaten you into submisssion?

Let’s be honest. STMP not some sort of fine wine that had to age for 30 years before we could appreciate it’s virtues. It’s bad. But… …it’s still a Star Trek movie, so we are committed to it, and we are caused by that charitable commitment to see what merits the film possesses. I too appreciate what they were trying to do and (to the extent that they achieved it) what they acheived. A bad Star Trek movie is usually better than no Trek at all and STMP on the shelf is worth having there. The film, however, (like most Trek movies) is a failure.

150. garen - November 4, 2008

You can hear the traditional THX sound starting at 1:34 on the teaser trailer.

151. JL - November 4, 2008

#149

“Let’s be honest. STMP [is] not some sort of fine wine that had to age for 30 years before we could appreciate it’s virtues. It’s bad.”

It’s funny. I am with you in that it’s nto very well plotted or executed overall.

But!

I think what closetrekker was trying to say – if I got it right – is that he was not able to fully comprehend and/or appreciate the full context of the film when he originally viewed it as a youngster.

And even though a part of me definitely, definitely dislikes the movie – – another part of me enjoys it for the good pieces it *does* contain. I also had to grow up before appreciating the film for what it is in spite of the slow pacing and lack of true spark.

152. Closettrekker - November 4, 2008

#149—-“So the film has slowly beaten you into submisssion?”

It was I who changed, independently from anything in a Star Trek movie. I do not view things or appreciate them in 2008 by the same standards as I did in the late 70’s-early 80’s. That is probably true of most people. I was 9 years old when I first saw TMP.

“Let’s be honest. STMP not some sort of fine wine that had to age for 30 years before we could appreciate it’s virtues. It’s bad.”

That’s ‘you’ being honest. There is no ‘us’ in that opinion.

” But… …it’s still a Star Trek movie, so we are committed to it, and we are caused by that charitable commitment to see what merits the film possesses.”

Not even close.

There has only been one “bad” Star Trek movie of the original six in my not-so-humble opinion, and that movie (STV: Shatner’s Great Trek Turd Of ’89) is ‘very’ bad, despite being a Star Trek movie—so my opinion is obviously not one born out of “charitable committment”, otherwise I would most certainly have something nice to say about ‘that’ movie. Anyone who is familiar with my posts here over the past year and a half or so knows that I most certainly do not…

My affinity for TMP is quite genuine…as genuine as my disdain for STV.

I simply have a different appreciation for TMP as an adult than I had as a child. I thought I had made that clear in several earlier posts. I certainly do not need you or anyone else to make an ‘excuse’ for me to enjoy a film much more than someone else does. It is simply a matter of taste. We are all looking for different things to some considerable extent in our appreciation of art. What I see in TMP is quite valuable to me and how I view Star Trek and its characters as a whole.

I’m afraid that the reasoning is no more complicated than that.

153. Closettrekker - November 4, 2008

#151—“I think what closetrekker was trying to say – if I got it right – is that he was not able to fully comprehend and/or appreciate the full context of the film when he originally viewed it as a youngster.”

You nailed it…

154. YARN - November 4, 2008

# 151

“And even though a part of me definitely, definitely dislikes the movie – – another part of me enjoys it for the good pieces it *does* contain. I also had to grow up before appreciating the film for what it is in spite of the slow pacing and lack of true spark.”

I think I liked it more as a kid. This world seemed to be more threatening and alienating than what I saw on the tube. I was young enough that FX could carry the sense of “OMG it’s huge!”.

As an adult I got what they were doing thematically with the characters, but then I also noticed all the stuff everyone else has complained about.

I think the FX in the Director’s Cut are great, but… …it’s still STMP.

155. JL - November 4, 2008

#152

Trek V: the only TOS Trek film I refuse to purchase on video. I have contemplated buying it several times, holding it in my hands over a bargain bin – but I couldn’t bring myself to taking it to the register.

Trek V actually made me almost – not to get overly dramatic – but almost made me sick to my stomach watching it. 95% of it is so terrible I can’t even buy it for $5. The film is so broken down it is actually depressing for me to watch.

156. New Horizon - November 4, 2008

This goes out to everyone who says STTMP is a bad movie. STTMP is NOT a bad movie, not by a long shot. If you don’t like it, if you can’t sit through it be cause you’re impatient and want something faster…that’s fine…that’s your personal preference. It’s still a wonderful movie. It’s thoughtful, mature, and doesn’t feel the need to ram everything down my throat. I appreciate that. I love 2001 as well.

Growing up, TWOK, SFS, and TVH were my favorites. I was a kid then…but now that I’ve had time to grow, and experience life…I see those three films for what they were…escapist, popcorn films. They’re good films in their own right, but they didn’t reach as far as TMP reached…so even when they went wrong, they didn’t have as far to fall. With the directors edition, we finally got to see what the film was supposed to be…and by far…it is now my favorite of all the Trek movies. We’ll never see another Trek movie as mature as it was, but that’s just the way it is and I’m not going to waste my time mourning a movie series.

157. YARN - November 4, 2008

#152

“I certainly do not need you or anyone else to make an ‘excuse’ for me to enjoy a film much more than someone else does. It is simply a matter of taste. We are all looking for different things to some considerable extent in our appreciation of art. What I see in TMP is quite valuable to me and how I view Star Trek and its characters as a whole.”

Perhaps you are ready to come out of the closet, then. Be a closettrekker no more! Embrace your geekdom!

I wasn’t talking exclusively about your reasons, but the reasons underlying the unneasy relationship we (i.e., fans – closet and non-closet) all seem to have with STMP.

158. JL - November 4, 2008

“Perhaps you are ready to come out of the closet, then. Be a closettrekker no more! ”

HAHAHAW

159. Andy Patterson - November 4, 2008

147

Well,…it’s not just the trumpet line. It’s the whole overall mood and approach. I prefer the feel of the original.

160. TL - November 4, 2008

Even though Star Trek the motion picture was a slow paced film it was closer to TOS than any other Trek film since that time. This is truly a sci-fi epic film with big ideas being expressed. What is it to be human? What is the next step in our evolution? Star Trek V The Final Frontier tried to deal with this big subject as well but failed due primarily to budget cuts and cheap special effects compared to TMP. In fact, William Shatner’s Kirk is best acted in TMP due primarily to director Robert Wise. Also there is a real chemistry between Kirk, Spock and McCoy played on an epic scale. In the rest of the Star Trek films these characters become cariacatures and lack any sense of purpose. My only complaint with the film is that they should have cut more scenes, especialy the fly-by the Enterprise to create better flow.

161. Closettrekker - November 4, 2008

#155—It was the only time I actually felt embarassed walking out of the theater after paying to see a Star Trek movie. It is on my shelf, but only because it was part of a collective dvd set I purchased. If I had purchased the dvd’s one at a time (as I did the VHS tapes), it would not be there. I have never played it…That movie is horrible, IMO.

#156—I have to agree with most everything you said in that post. Although I still give the edge to TWOK, TMP is not far behind for me. They are two very different kinds of Star Trek films, but I love them both for what they bring to the table respectively.

162. Frank - November 4, 2008

I think the Director’s Edition is a great package. But, I was really surprised that Robert Wise still felt that those 20 excruciating minutes of moving lights and bridge crew reaction shots had to still be in there. If there was any weakness to the movie, in my opinion, it was that painfully slow sequence in the middle. But, it was the first, I saw it on opening night and it was an event that I enjoyed immensely.

163. JL - November 4, 2008

“…it was closer to TOS than any other Trek film since that time. …”

omg I have to disagree with this statement. Wrath of Khan had a great pace going throughout, pulse-pounding action, Kirk employing actual strategy to get the crew out of trouble (two times he did this during the film), it had character interaction, on and on. TMP was grand in scale, huge, just HUGE in its scope, but it was – to me – very unlike an episode of TOS.

Voyage Home was another well-done film that matched the original series. It had humor, suspense, character interaction, etc… so well done. And barely a phaser shot if I recall.

164. DATA KILLED SPOT! - November 4, 2008

Can’t wait until we get to the TFF trailer! There will be some heated discussion, I PROMISE YOU!!!!!!

165. YARN - November 4, 2008

#156

“This goes out to everyone who says STTMP is a bad movie. STTMP is NOT a bad movie, not by a long shot.”

54% on the Tomatometer

6.2 out of 10 on IMDB

Your statement must be going out to quite a few people…

“If you don’t like it, if you can’t sit through it be cause you’re impatient and want something faster…that’s fine…that’s your personal preference.”

And perhaps your personal preference is what leads you to flatly assert that,

“It’s still a wonderful movie. It’s thoughtful, mature, and doesn’t feel the need to ram everything down my throat.”

Hey, I like slow paced movies like ALIEN and Meet Joe Black. I love the slow build up in “Audition”. I don’t, however, like watching the Enterprise spend 2 hours traveling through endless screen savers. At a certain point, it’s like Python and the Holy Grail — you sense the chorus screaming “Get on with it!” from the sidelines.

And the film is not that profound. It makes the rather egotistical assumption that a sentient machine, no matter how complex, would necessarily be empty on the inside and would have to have some sort of cosmic transmutation to develop an “inner life.” And yet, our empty machine is also a child having a temper tantrum. Mmmmmkay…

This mechanism has traveled across the universe digitizing all sorts of aliens life forms and machines, but is still too dense to figure out that the Enterprise was designed to house carbon units (V’Ger really isn’t too bright).

And don’t forget the whore/madonna complex wrapped up in our bald headed Illyia -she’s from the planet of loose women, but she’s taken a vow of chastity! Decker really cannot be with her until he is ready to make the big commitment to a metaphysical union (Perhaps they should have just gotten married?). And more egocentrism. V’Ger has gobbled up all these other life forms (including at least one bald hottie and a handful of Klingons), but it cannot reach the final level until is digitizes a human.

166. JL - November 4, 2008

“I was really surprised that Robert Wise still felt that those 20 excruciating minutes of moving lights and bridge crew reaction shots had to still be in there.”

Me too. It was the only portion of the film that I expected to be edited and it wasn’t. I was (still am) very confused as to why they did not address this — the number-one complaint leveled at the movie.

167. TL - November 4, 2008

@163

“but it (TMP) was – to me – very unlike an episode of TOS”

The Changeling” season two episode 32. I thought Nomad is alot like V’ger, looking for it’s creator, damaged, in fact IMO I thought I was watching the movie version of this episode.

168. Closettrekker - November 4, 2008

#157—“I wasn’t talking exclusively about your reasons, but the reasons underlying the unneasy relationship we (i.e., fans – closet and non-closet) all seem to have with STMP.”

My relationship with TMP is not at all “uneasy”…I love the movie, and I am apparently not the only one. It’s really quite simple. There is no “underlying” reasoning to it whatsoever. I fail to understand why you believe there should be, or has to be—for me or for anyone else. I certainly do not feel as though we “all” have some uneasy relationship with it. Some of us appreciate it for what it is. Others bury it for what it is not. Still others just don’t like it. Non-fans certainly did not get it.

Apparently, you place yourself into some category of fan that only watches TMP repeatedly out of “charitable committment” to Star Trek…ok…to each his own…I suppose.

169. TL - November 4, 2008

Simply put ST TMP requires the viewer to think while the other Trek movies only entertain.

170. JL - November 4, 2008

#167

I understand what you mean here and I agree with the underlying similarity (ie; premise). But when I say “unlike” TOS, I mean on most general levels, not so much the plot. How the plot is *handled* – how the film in general is *handled* from character development to the level of action and engagement – was not like an episode of TOS. Or at least a good episode of TOS.

We all agree to disagree, at least to some extent.

171. TL - November 4, 2008

@170

I see your point, let’s hope this new film captures the spirit of the original series!

172. Cafe 5 - November 4, 2008

STMP ran for over a year here in Portland, Or. As flawed and imperfect as certian aspects of this film are it is great first person cinema. I like shots that last more than seven or eight frames like the movies do today. The fly over tour of the ship with Kirk & Scotty is along with Jerry Goldsmith’s music just an incredible visual. It was almost 6 minutes long, with modern editing you’d be lucky to get six seconds. This film is not perfect but it much better than many film being made today.

173. Peter N - November 4, 2008

#159

I will do some critical comparison listening. You are talking about the theme as it is performed for the TMP film titles/DVD trailer compared to the TNG titles theme? I think TNG did it in mixed meter. ;)

174. Andy Patterson - November 4, 2008

173

and short and choppy. I don’t know about the mixed meter.

175. YARN - November 4, 2008

# 168

I don’t know of a lot of fans who simply say the film is a masterpiece. Praise for STMP is always measured. People I have talked to over the years have been very upfront about the failings of the film and lament them – even if they place it as #2, just behind TWOK.

You are divided on the film too. The young closettrekker was of one mind. The more mature closettrekker is of another opinion. Your opinion about other Trek films probably has not swung nearly so much. Am I right?

As much as you praise the film, you still note: “I still agree that it was, in many ways, a missed [opportunity].” Moreover, your praise for the DC stands in stark contrast what even you describe as the failings of the original (it’s not like you said they tooka great film and made it even better).

Finally, that we are on (as of this writing) post 168 in this thread shows that fans are still bickering about aesthetic qualities of this film. We are all still rather divided, after all these years, about STMP. Our collective mind is also divided – we are still aguing about it.

176. Andy Patterson - November 4, 2008

Herr “N”

177. DancesWithKlingons - November 4, 2008

I remember going to the movie theater 4 hours early to get my seat for TMP. At the time we had only reruns of TOS. So for us trekkies that were in our preteens, TMP was an event.

I was used to going to “epic” movies in the theatre, we had no video tape players then, and going was an event. That is what TMP was. I had not heard Jerry Goldsmith theme yet and was expecting the usual ST music.

I knew that this was different from the first note.

As for this new Trek movie, well, I will just have to go out and see it.
I like all the hush hush about it. I hope to enjoy it for what it is and not what the hype will make it.

178. Closettrekker - November 4, 2008

#165—“It makes the rather egotistical assumption that a sentient machine, no matter how complex, would necessarily be empty on the inside and would have to have some sort of cosmic transmutation to develop an inner life.”

How is that egotistical?

The premise was that V’Ger had done eveything it was capable of programming-wise, and needed a purpose. It made its purpose finding its creator. I think the concept was a good one, particularly in distinguishing V’Ger as a machine which had become truely sentinent. Asking questions that human beings would associate with sentient behavior made it relatable, IMO.

“And yet, our empty machine is also a child having a temper tantrum. Mmmmmkay”

I always found that to be merely a typically McCoy oversimplification that just happened to include the basis for a viable strategy in dealing with it—using the machine’s weakness as a means to accomplish the mission.

“This mechanism has traveled across the universe digitizing all sorts of aliens life forms and machines, but is still too dense to figure out that the Enterprise was designed to house carbon units (V’Ger really isn’t too bright).”

The “carbon units” were no more relevant to V’Ger than some form of life today that humans might find to be an “infestation”. It saw the Enterprise as a primitive cousin of sorts. Why would V’Ger think beyond the perspective of its own kind? Do we?

“…it cannot reach the final level until is digitizes a human.”

Once it realizes that there is no way to ignore that its creator is a carbon unit, and specifically, a Terran one, its imperative becomes to assimilate the information it seeks by the most intimate method it knows. I don’t see the problem…

“Hey, I like slow paced movies like ALIEN ”

I love ‘Alien’ too, but TMP is not supposed to be that, any more than it was supposed to be ‘The Godfather’.

179. Marian Ciobanu - November 4, 2008

- To boldly go where no bold chick has gone before…. >: D

180. JL - November 4, 2008

“…fans are still bickering about aesthetic qualities of this film. We are all still rather divided, after all these years, about STMP.”

How very true.

There are rational reasons to enjoy it – and a whole bunch of reasons to hate the living tar out of it. (heehee)

Funny, you don’t get this level of mixed reaction regarding TWOK – – the majority seems to hold it in high regard.

181. YARN - November 4, 2008

#178

“How is that egotistical?”

It makes a sort of vitalist assumption about the nature of human experience that puts humans (and the rest of the English speaking humanoids we find in the Trek-verse) on a higher plane than “mere” machines.

Consiousness, qualia, free thought, and emotion allegedly come naturally organic beings (especially in Trek), but a machine consciousness (for some unexplained reason) would be even more confounded by this than by Kirk’s old trick of asking machines to compute Pi indefinitely.

Blade Runner (which came out at around the same time) would put the question of “essential human experience” to the audience in a much more sophisticated manner.

This film is just another turn on the old sci-fi trope of the Tin Man wishing it had a heart (which Data would exemplify ad naseum).

182. Enterprise - November 4, 2008

Wells and Nimoy would share the screen as cartoon characters in Transformers the movie!

183. JL - November 4, 2008

^
I
I
I

why am I not getting it

184. Closettrekker - November 4, 2008

#175—“As much as you praise the film, you still note: ‘I still agree that it was, in many ways, a missed [opportunity]’.”

You are taking that quote out of context. I was speaking of what the film did not do in 1979, relevant to Paramount’s goals and what was then the potential for marketing Star Trek as a film franchise to a much larger audience. I still think it is a great film when edited properly, just the wrong film to market to non-fans.

“Moreover, your praise for the DC stands in stark contrast what even you describe as the failings of the original (it’s not like you said they tooka great film and made it even better).”

What difference does that make? I love the director’s cut. The original theatrical version is too long and drawn out in places, IMO, but it still isn’t bad to me. When I watch it at home, I watch the director’s cut. It does make it a better film to me. It’s hardly an ‘uneasy’ relationship. It’s very simple and easy— cut-and-dried.

“We are all still rather divided, after all these years, about STMP”

If you spend any time on these threads at all, you already know that is true of almost everything covered by Trekmovie, and certainly not specific to a discussion involving TMP.

“Your opinion about other Trek films probably has not swung nearly so much. Am I right?”

As another poster so aptly pointed out, the rest of the film series is far less mature and much more in the category of “popcorn movies”. So, of course. The only reason I found it boring at 9 years old is that I wasn’t old enough to get it. I could say the same about alot of movies I saw then whose elements and themes were a bit mature for a nine year old to appreciate. All you are proving is that there has not been a ST movie like TMP since, and that was hardly in question.

You can put up an article about TWOK, and I guarantee that 5-10 posters will say they think it is overrated, or not a good film at all…I’ve already seen it happen.

The only thing that Star Trek fans consistently agree upon is the fact that they like Star Trek in some form or another. This is in no way specific to TMP articles.

185. CaptainRickover - November 4, 2008

If TMP was closer to TOS as TWOK depends on your personal view of TOS. Some prefer the slower, more ethic and moralic episodes as the really good ones, others (including myself) the more action and space battle oriented episodes like “doomsday machine” or “ballance of terror”.

I’ve never see TMP on the big screen (I was just one year old, when it was released), but I’ve seen it several times on tv and latley on DVD. It is not so bad that I wouldn’t watch it again (no Star Trek movie is, not even TFF or Nemesis), but it is indeed the slowest of all movies. I don’t like the overall white, clinic design, the hosipital-style uniforms and the way, the characters has changend (with one exception: Bones!) Kirk was never so unsympathic and arrogant as in this movie (with one exception: Generations. Here Shatner played him really as a man gone crazy). There was no humor (except for some lines from Bones) and no action, parts I really liked about TOS. But I like the philosophic ideas behind V’Ger’s great search, but that was only revealed at the end of the movie and the conclusion comes really fast.

About Spock’s search: I’ve never noted it until Closettrekker’s last few comments on this board. It seems to me, that this theme really get lost in the movie and never handled like a big deal for the character.

I really like the TMP-Enterprise, one of the best and most elegant starships designed to date. I like the new klingon cruisers (much details, rusty and mechanic, very different from the sleek UFP-designs) and I prefer Goldmsith’s soundtrack over all other following Star Trek music. It represented the great adventure and the optimistic and powerfull future form Roddenberry better that anything else. AND: I really liked the very, very, very, very big V’Ger. Phantastic design, first it seemed organic, but the closer you came, the more it looked like a big machine.

The Director’s Edition eleminated some minor flaws of TMP, but can’t never repair the major flaws like the cold acting characters (TNG remind me a lot of TMP, to be honest it was a direct rip-off of TMP. See for the Decker/Ilia and Riker/Troi-theme or the very “robotic” Spock and TNG’s Data). But I liked it (The TMP-DE) and prefer it more than the theatrical version or the x-large version that came out on VHS many years ago.

The trailer reflected the movie very good, but that was not ment in the positive way ;)

186. lostrod - November 4, 2008

I think TMP would have been better had they stuck with the original ending (in my copy of the shooting script) that had Kirk, Spock and McCoy beaming down to the Smithsonian to track down an old 16MM projector or something to provide some archived data to V’ger.

I haven’t read it in years. I guess I’ll have to track down that old box in storage.

187. RaveOnEd - November 4, 2008

On a side note, there is another movie connection with TMP:

Orson Welles narrated the trailer and TV spots, for a movie directed by Robert Wise (who was Welles’ Editor on “Citizen Kane”).

188. Closettrekker - November 4, 2008

#181—“It makes a sort of vitalist assumption about the nature of human experience that puts humans (and the rest of the English speaking humanoids we find in the Trek-verse) on a higher plane than “mere” machines.”

I think that, if anything, the film’s theme and the progression of the story said just the opposite. V’Ger was seeking the same answers as any sentient being does.

“Blade Runner (which came out at around the same time) would put the question of “essential human experience” to the audience in a much more sophisticated manner.”

Actually, ‘Blade Runner’ came out in the same year that Paramount released the far less complex TWOK. I like BR too, and once again, my intention is not to say that TMP is a better sci-fi movie.

TMP, however, is more impactful to me because the story further develops the characters I love from TOS, and does so very well.

BR is, to me, a (very good) standalone sci-fi flick. I wouldn’t think to compare the two. With that said, I am seldom in the mood to pop in the BR dvd…but when I get in the mood for TMP (which is far more often), it has still never been out of “charitable committment” to Star Trek. I just love TMP.

189. patrick - November 4, 2008

am i REALLY reading a YES on california-proposition 8 banner at the top of this site today?

so sad and discouraging….

190. YARN - November 4, 2008

# 184

“You are taking that quote out of context. I was speaking of what the film did not do in 1979, relevant to Paramount’s goals and what was then the potential for marketing Star Trek as a film franchise to a much larger audience. ”

No Sir, you are taking my quote of your quote out of context …

…by shifting your ground:

“As much as I love TMP as a fanboy film, it wasn’t what Star Trek needed to appeal to the largest possible audience and sustain interest in the franchise for a decade.”

and then

“I still agree that it was, in many ways, a missed opprotunity. Star Trek, as a result of TMP’s disappointment in general audience approval, was relegated to B-movie budgeting from that point forward. As I said before, it wasn’t what the franchise needed.”

Originally you said that TMP failed to do what the film objectively should have done – now you say it is a matter of Paramount failing to achieve one of it’s private (financial) goals. There is a subtle but important distinction here. If TMP failed to deliver what you feel it should have delivered (for the franchise), then this counts as a criticism (on your part) of the movie. Later, however, when you shift to speak exclusively of Paramounts interest, you can deny that this was “your”criticism of the film.

“What difference does that make?”

To the extent that you praise the DC, you criticize the original release. Moreover, you do not simply say that the original was great, but rate aspects of it as being “bad”. For example, you say,

“I think it eliminates much of what was bad about the original theatrical version”

“I love the director’s cut. The original theatrical version is too long and drawn out in places, IMO, but it still isn’t bad to me.”

That we even needed a Director’s Cut shows that you have some reservations about STMP. The story is not one of unmitigated praise. It is not just that, as an adult you appreciate the greatness of the film, but rather that you prefer a slightly different film than you saw as a child.

This is not to say that I somehow have a slam dunk case, by pointing these things out. I am simply problematizing your assertion that you have no doubts or reservations about STMP. Even YOU do not simply say it is great. Even you have to apologize for its weaknesses.

191. YARN - November 4, 2008

“As another poster so aptly pointed out, the rest of the film series is far less mature and much more in the category of “popcorn movies”. So, of course. The only reason I found it boring at 9 years old is that I wasn’t old enough to get it. I could say the same about alot of movies I saw then whose elements and themes were a bit mature for a nine year old to appreciate. All you are proving is that there has not been a ST movie like TMP since, and that was hardly in question.”

If this were the only valid explanation of the division and progression of our appraisals of the film, I would agree. Indeed, I think there is justice in your claim here, I just don’t agree that it tells the whole story.

It is not good, for example, that the protagonists in the film lack “likeability” — especially since we came into the theater liking them very much (they had built-in likeability). That they did this intentionally does not make it any less of a mistake or defect. It just means that they squandered our good will and warm feelings. Sure, Kirk gets back to winking after he been barking megalomaniacally through most of the film, but he still basically comes off as a jerk.

And hey, I think it is great that you love watching the Enterprise slowly creeping through endless auroras and geometric shapes as the crew blinks in amazement. I really do. But the rest of us think that it is gratuitous and pondering. It is what most people think is a flaw of the film that is retained in the Director’s Cut.

If you think the recycled NOMAD plot line is staggeringly good Sci-Fi, that’s great. I submit that it is just a turn on the old Tin Man trope.

In short, we can point to these aspects in describing why people disagree about the film.

192. Frank - November 4, 2008

What I love about STAR TREK THE MOTION PICTURE

1. The Enterprise. Just a beauty.
2. Klingons with ridges.
3. Vulcan Shuttle. (cool little transport)
4. Serious SciFi. I like “Serious Kirk.” I think Shatner did a great job showing Kirk in full command mode. It was something that we saw only glimpses of in episodes like Balance of Terror.
5. The dress uniforms. I like the tunic dress uniform that Kirk had on. Very sharp.
6. Marines/Security. Interesting to see their uniforms/armor.
7. Scotty with a moustache.
8. The new phaser.
9. Spock understanding and embracing that pure logic is not “the answer.”

The story itself was an attempt to do serious, more thought provoking sci-fi ala 2001. Like others I believe that a little more action probably was needed. Had the Klingons and Enterprise battled prior to learning that the cloud was neither a Klingon or Federation weapon and then entered the cloud to discover the mystery, they would have been better off. But it is what it is… or is what it was…. :)

193. Enterprise - November 4, 2008

In another TMP connection, in Airplane II Shatner’s character, Buck Murdoch, asks for a record of anyone who has seen the Sound of Music more than four times.

194. YARN - November 4, 2008

“I think that, if anything, the film’s theme and the progression of the story said just the opposite. V’Ger was seeking the same answers as any sentient being does.”

But don’t forget Spock’s monologue about V’Ger being empty on the inside because it cannot feel (this is, after all, the epiphany that leads Spock to decide to remove the rod from his a** and lighten up). V’Ger fed up with its emptiness and wanted to move beyong mere computation and tabulation). It was to a large extent seeking what we take for granted.

“Actually, ‘Blade Runner’ came out in the same year that Paramount released the far less complex TWOK.”

Seeing as how it is 2008, and how 1982 is much closer to 1979 than we are, I stand my claim that they were released at about the same time.

“I like BR too, and once again, my intention is not to say that TMP is a better sci-fi movie.”

Because you cannot say this. STMP dimly gropes at what BR achieves.

“TMP, however, is more impactful to me because the story further develops the characters I love from TOS, and does so very well. ”

No, it doesn’t develop them at all. It simple hits the reset button. Spock had loosened up during his three years on the original series. In STMP, however, is made even more uptight than he EVER was. At the end of the movie, he is pretty much returned to where he was at the end of the series run. In TWOK, for example, he is good old Spock. Kirk’s is also returned to his old confident self (a little too late for us to like him, but we can see old Kirk is back). And McCoy as returned to being the faithful friend.

“BR is, to me, a (very good) standalone sci-fi flick. I wouldn’t think to compare the two. With that said, I am seldom in the mood to pop in the BR dvd…but when I get in the mood for TMP (which is far more often), it has still never been out of “charitable committment” to Star Trek. I just love TMP.”

And I believe that you love it. I just don’t believe that you love unreservedly. And who would know better. Me or you? Moreover, I don’t think Star Trek fans simply LOVE STMP. I think those of us who do apologize for it have mixed feelings about the film and I think our arguments about the film aren’t just fanwankery, but symptoms of this division. The evidence is that people who like the film (yourself excluded) admit to having mixed feelings about it.

195. Third Remata'Klan - November 4, 2008

The Motion Picture has the distinction of being the ONLY Star Trek “episode” that puts me to sleep.

And yes, I have seen the Director’s Cut.

It’s not an awful film, it’s just too dang looooooonnnnnngggggg…..

I have been thinking for a while that I’d like to give it another try.

196. Jasper Oswald Jepelios Nodoriadisis - November 4, 2008

The Motion Picture was the BEST Trek film ever!

197. Chris - November 4, 2008

Wow, those old trailers are really bad. The addition of music makes a night and day difference. Also I don’t think they played movie trailers as commercials nearly as much as they do now.

198. braxus - November 4, 2008

I was 8 years old when the Motion Picture came out. I remember bits and pieces of seeing it in the theater, but it didn’t stick in my memory like Khan did.

I have seen our local IMAX theater do a showing of Star Trek 2 all the way to Star Trek 6 in 70mm. I went to see 2 and 4 when they did those showings. They told me Star Trek 1 didn’t have a 70mm print, so it wasn’t available for them to do a show. Funny I remember reading that a 70mm print was in the works, but due to time constraints and the rush to get the film in theaters for Christmas (which lead to the poor original film cut), the 70mm print never was finished. I wonder if Paramount still has those 70mm prints they allowed to be shown in the 90s?

199. braxus - November 4, 2008

Correction- I was 9 years old, not 8 when ST 1 was out.

200. THX-1138 - November 4, 2008

I, too, went to the opening day first showing of TMP. And yes, it was at a SINGLE SCREEN THEATER. Lot’s of Trek fans dressed up like it was a convention and news crews filming all the “zany Trek weirdos”. My friends and I got front row seats in the balcony (yes, the balcony!).

Huge applause as the theater went dark and the film began. Cheers as each character made their first screen appearance. Biggest cheer reserved for the Enterprise flyby, that at the time, seemed to go on forever, but in a very loving way. When Spock finally sets foot on the bridge, the audience could feel the coldness and tension, even to the point of one young lady yelling “Spock!?” in a tone of voice that just sounded like “What the heck is wrong with Spock?”

And then the fly through of V’Ger. It went on forever. Forever and ever. It almost felt like padding. It was so long that I got lost as to what the story was about. And I wanted to see this V’Ger thing. A cloud? What first drew me to Star Trek was the excitement and as a kid, I found that lacking in the theatrical release of TMP.

Years and years later, I obtained the DE. And now I just love TMP. Maybe it took time for me to catch up to the movie. But that was a dangerous start to the movie franchise.

201. SteveinSF - November 4, 2008

#47–totally had the same feeling that you did. I was so excited about that movie and was working at my high school job–McDonald’s so I had all the silly happy meal toys and was trying to figure out the plot while building all the cheapo toys. I thought the Klingon ships looked really fake then, but loved the Enterprise.
I just didn’t get the grumpy Spock then laughing Spock ( while recovering from Vger meld) and hated how quiet the Enterprise was–where was the cool main screen sound, the red alert klaxton why change it to that stupid clown horn sound? But being a hard core trek fan, I saw it twice then finally the directors cut which was much better.
Wow, so much time has passed…

202. OR Coast Trekkie - November 4, 2008

Check your discout/dollar theaters to see previous Star Trek movies on the big screen. At the discount theater here, they show Trek movies quite a bit.

203. Spocks Brain - November 4, 2008

I liked the whale movie.. it had humor, and many TOS episodes had humor in them… and it had more star trek spirit than TMP had! BY FAR!

204. P Technobabble - November 4, 2008

TMP is one of my favorite Trek films, perhaps even my favorite. This is because it is the most “sci-fi” film of them all (though I think TVH comes close). I am a science-fiction fan, foremost… which is why I appreciate this film. Sure, it has its flaws — though many of those flaws were eliminated with the Director’s Cut. It was a more “thoughtful” film, a la “2001,” and the antagonist was not simply a “bad guy,” but was rather the means, or the catalyst, to exploring the film’s central theme — finding meaning and purpose in one’s life. It’s certainly a bigger, more epic sort of story than you’d find in a single tv episode. I admit it is not a movie for those of short attention span.
I would also like to suggest that Star Trek is not about any single aspect. It is not primarily about action, or intellect, or humor, etc. I think those things really depend on the story, since you wouldn’t typically want characters trying to be funny during an intense battle, for example (although I wouldn’t say such a thing would never be appropriate). So, in the case of TMP, the film tends to weigh on the side of academia, and I don’t think great action sequences or humorous bantering would make it a better film… it would have been a different film, for sure. IMO, what would have made TMP a better film would have been for Kirk to be in a position where he had to choose between saving earth or saving V’Ger, and then having some sort of epiphany or realization which leads to a solution… just a thought……..

205. JohnnieF - November 4, 2008

I remember going to see ST:TMP when I was about 12 and being in such awe of the TV show going to the big screen. I “liked” the TV series, but the movie really got me hooked.

206. mikko - November 5, 2008

Unfortunately, TMP was well before my time; however, it has always appealed to me peculiarly.

TMP stands apart from the other Trek films in that it owes so much to 2001: A Space Odyssey. Like ‘2001,’ it ruminates a lot on the special effects and cinematography; it has more of a ‘high art’ creative vision than the others. Also like ‘2001,’ it relies on the visuals and music (or lack thereof, in the Kubrick) to carry the film’s relatively thin plot. The use of music and the visual effects are of the ‘2001’ variety that is of really very high quality, artistically — and I missed that in all the subsequent Trek films. (My apologies… but CGI models still don’t quite convince my probing eyes! Perhaps that’ll change in May.)

The result, in the case of both films, is that it’s really beautiful — but it’s not necessarily entertaining. With the body of films that followed it, I sort of regard it as the ‘overture’ to all that — much like the ‘overture’ portion before the opening credits. In TV terms, it could be regarded as the ‘pilot’ to the film series (fitting, as it is, of course, the reworked pilot to Phase II).

Eager listeners of Bach’s music may want to skip the prelude and get straight to the fugue; and doesn’t TMP serve that ‘prelude’ function?

207. mikko - November 5, 2008

An addendum to my comment above; hell! a couple of missed points:

– the teaser trailer, in particular, has a certain ‘art film’ element about it, which I find to be very visually appealing.

– the score for the two cinematic trailers, also, reminds me a bit of ‘2001’ and its progressive soundtrack choices.

– i always have been bothered that the ‘director’s edition’ cut from the sequence of Spock flying through V’ger. It created gaps in my favorite portion of Goldsmith’s score… and I actually liked all the dwelling on the V’ger cloud’s various layers and textures.

– to amend my ‘CGI’ remark: I simply prefer actual physical ship models. I thought that the Trek TV series and films after the CGI ship switch in the mid ’90’s was downright ruinous, as it all felt a bit less credible.

208. trekboi - November 5, 2008

i love Star Trek: The Motion Picture.
u can really settle into it and spend some quality time in the 23rd century- it takes its time telling its story.

i understand fans of the serie wanted a movie leangth episode with a lucas sized budget but instead they got a tscience fiction movie.
oddly enough the one complaint i have heard directed at the last 3 films is that they were just like a long episode.- not a film

as for not enough action- anyone can film some battle scenes put together with mtv editing but where are the ideas and concepts?

209. M33 - November 6, 2008

This movie rocks. What can I say? Its true sci-fi Star Trek.

TrekMovie.com is represented by Gorilla Nation. Please contact Gorilla Nation for ad rates, packages and general advertising information.