Today, in celebration of First Contact Day, Paramount+ has released the remastered Director’s Edition of the first Star Trek feature film, 1979’s Star Trek: The Motion Picture, now in 4K UHD.
They gave her back to me, Scotty
Set on board a refit USS Enterprise, the film reunited the original cast of the television series, with stars William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy returning to their legendary roles of Kirk and Spock. An enormously powerful alien force that destroys everything in its path is heading towards Earth, and the crew of the Enterprise must try and stop it while learning about its true nature.
For all its grand scale, The Motion Picture is ultimately a film about identity and finding one’s path. Kirk, Spock, and V’Ger are all searching for something that will give them direction and make them feel whole, with each of them finding their answers in very different ways.
The film as released in 1979 was often critiqued for its somewhat languid pace, with some fans dubbing it, “The Motionless Picture.” While its pacing left something to be desired, it does tell a story very much in the tradition of the original show while giving Star Trek a greater sense of scale and grandeur. And its great craftsmanship was recognized by the Academy, giving the film three Oscar nominations – Set Decoration, Visual Effects, and Original Score.
The 4K UHD release of Star Trek: The Motion Picture – Director’s Edition brings director Robert Wise’s vision of the film into the modern era with a major update in visuals and sound, and the result is spectacular. A labor of love in every respect, the film is a visual and aural experience like never before and can finally be seen as the epic film it was designed to be.
Ready or not, she launches
Star Trek: The Motion Picture has had a strange and difficult journey, as far as movies go. Born out of a pilot for a proposed television revival of the original series, the film began production in August 1978 without a finished script and wrapped principal photography later than scheduled. That was only the preamble to a much larger problem: the original company commissioned to do all the effects work on the film failed to produce any usable footage, forcing Paramount to hire visual effects pioneers Douglas Trumbull (2001: A Space Odyssey, The Andromeda Strain, Close Encounters of the Third Kind) and John Dykstra (Star Wars) to complete the work. Having only 7 months to finish the effects in order to meet a locked-in release date in December, the teams worked around the clock – literally. While the visual effects were being created, director Robert Wise and editor Todd Ramsay were trying to find an editorial shape for the film, despite often having large holes where the effects should be. This sometimes forced them to drop whole sequences into the film as the footage was coming in, with little time to massage the edits, which also affected the sound mix and color timing. The film ultimately met its release date but received a lukewarm response from audiences, who were unaware that what they were seeing was a compromised version of the film, which was a great disappointment to Robert Wise.
Fast forward to the late ’90s, and the team of restoration supervisor Mike Matessino, producer David Fein, and visual effects supervisor Daren Dochterman teamed up with Wise to craft a new cut of the film that would address some of the issues and enhance the story. They tightened the pace of the film, fixed some of the effects shots, added some others, and put together a new sound mix.
One of the biggest changes made, from a visual storytelling perspective, was the reveal of V’Ger. The theatrical version skipped over this entirely due to time constraints, so what V’Ger really looked like from afar had remained a mystery for more than 20 years. Among the edits Wise made were adding back a few scenes that didn’t make the theatrical cut, including some important Spock moments that frankly never should have been cut in the first place. They also added a star field to the film’s 2-minute overture (which had previously played over black and was sometimes mistakenly cut out by projectionists). A throwback to the golden age of cinema, The Motion Picture was one of the last films to have an overture (along with Disney’s The Black Hole, also released in 1979).
Star Trek: The Motion Picture – The Director’s Edition debuted to positive notices in 2001, with many saying it was clearly a superior version of the film. Unfortunately, even this version had its compromises. The print provided by the studio was subpar, and the decision to produce it in standard definition meant it was not ready for the then-upcoming HD era. The team has spent the past 20 years advocating for a return to the film in order to bring it up to current standards and future-proof it so that it can be enjoyed for many years to come. Producer David Fein chatted with us recently about this and much more, which you can read here.
A Totally New Enterprise?
Af for this new 4K version, the cut of the film is the same as – or very close to – the 2001 Director’s Edition. What is different are the changes, both large and small, to the film’s visuals and soundtrack.
The original camera negative was scanned at 4K resolution and any instances of dirt or damage were fixed. The team made use of industry standard color grading tools to regrade certain shots and give everything a consistent overall look. In the past, the film’s color palette was a bit bland and veered toward the “cold” side. It is now slightly warmer, particularly in the flesh tones. The added warmth makes the proceedings more appealing and more in line with director Wise’s original intentions. It also appears that a certain amount of sharpening was applied to some softer shots, but it’s tastefully done. All of it leads to an image that showcases Richard Kline’s cinematography and gives it a polished veneer that makes the film look like the expensive studio picture that it was. It far exceeds Paramount’s recent 4K transfer of the theatrical cut.
The visual effects see an even larger upgrade. Paramount was able to locate many of Douglas Trumbull’s 65mm film elements as well as John Dykstra’s VistaVision footage, which were scanned at 8K and 6K, respectively, then re-composited and cut into the picture. The results are absolutely stunning. The textures of the Enterprise hull, the layers of the cloud, the details on the V’Ger spacecraft… virtually every original effects shot in the film looks noticeably better.
The visual effects that were added as part of the original Director’s Edition are also here but tweaked a bit, owing to the increased resolution and 20 years of advances in digital effects technology. All of it integrates beautifully with the rest of the film.
Perhaps the most interesting feature of this project is the new Dolby Atmos sound mix, which is markedly different from any previous version of the film. It is a very active mix with both big and subtle moments that create an environment far denser and more layered than before. Dialogue appears to have been mixed to have a richer lower end, making what sometimes seemed a bit tinny now sound much fuller. Every environment is more sonically active. The Enterprise is full of many different sounds that really gives you the feel of being on starship, and V’Ger itself has far more of an auditory presence and feels more menacing and mysterious.
The team’s discovery of the original ADR (Automated Dialogue Replacement) tapes gave them the ability to use them in fun and sometimes surprising ways. There was a great deal of material recorded and never used and some of it is applied here in a way that makes the movie’s world feel much larger and more lively.
The music cues from Jerry Goldsmith’s legendary score have been remixed under the supervision of engineer/producer Bruce Botnick, a longtime colleague of Goldsmith’s who was part of the original scoring sessions in 1979. Some of the cues feel like they’ve been remixed in a way that favors a particular instrument, but by and large the score remains the same and sounds better than ever.
This is a superb sound mix that really brings the film alive and matches the incredible visuals.
The human adventure begins again
After 42 years, the film has finally been given all the resources and time necessary to present it in the best possible way. It takes all of the adjustments made in the original Director’s Edition and improves upon them. The various changes, large and small, greatly enhance the story the film is trying to tell and truly let it stand as the most epic of the Star Trek feature films. Even longtime detractors might find the film more to their liking now. For fans of this film, well, there is no comparison. This is the definitive version of Star Trek: The Motion Picture.
The film is available now on the Paramount+ streaming service in the USA. And in May you can see it on the big screen during a 3-day at theaters across the USA with Fathom Events. Blu-ray and digital releases of the film will arrive in September from Paramount Home Video. International availability has not been announced yet.
More to come
TrekMovie will be taking a closer look at the many changes in the film in the coming days, and look for an in-depth discussion on our Shuttle Pod podcast soon.
Find more news about TMP-DE and other Star Trek home media and streaming at TrekMovie.com.
Lovely review, thank you! We are so close to having all the films in one place for streaming, Paramount just has to sort out whatever is up with the rights for the 2009 film.
I finished watching Star Trek: The Motion Picture | The Director’s Edition 4K on Paramount+. The visuals and sound mix are fabulous! Despite not being my favorite TOS film, I highly recommend checking it out if you’re subscribed to Paramount+.
I’m looking forward to this honestly.
I’m very excited to see this!
Maybe I’m being a bit too critical but for me there was just a tad too much grain reduction, which then made the sharpening of the softer / more muddy footage quite jarring. It also made the CGI stand out more due to there being less grain to blend it with the original elements.
Still a massive effort but for my tastes, the film needed a bit less grain reduction which in turn would have allowed for a bit less over working of the softer images and better incorporation of the CGI.
Maybe that can be addressed 20 years from now. lol
All that being said, I think the film does look, sound, and play out wonderfully. Thanks team.
I agree… the sound quality was superb! A lot of blur though.. beyond that though the Vger vessel upgrade was fantastic.. wish they had upgraded some other effects like Earth. Blacklines were glaring especially around the Klingon ships and wavy around the travel pod when it left the station. IDK. I have always had a special place in my heart for STMP. I was 12 when it came out and it continued my love of all things TREK!
Really, all that effort and they didn’t clean up those matte lines around the Klingon cruisers in the opening? Heavens.
THAT’S HOW I FEEL like seriously opening sequence boom you got matte lines. I seriously wonder if they only cleaned up the lines on the beautiest of beauty shots for promo purposes
For my part, most of the compositing still look like crap: matte lines are still there? Wow. This remastered edition doesn’t live up to my expectations.
Unfortunately, people who work on these things can’t seem to resist the temptation to “go to town” with things like DVNR and color grading. Still, looking forward to seeing it.
Dude, given you watched it on P+ streaming, well that’s why it doesn’t look as good as it should. That’s an inferior way to watch 4K, at least on P+ and the other majors. Lot’s of compression algorithms that give the false impression that the remastering may not be as good as expected.
This is why I decided not to watch it until I get the 4K Blu-Ray.
Steaming compression has nothing to do with matte line still being as bad as they’ve always been
I watched the 4k blu ray original cut and then this director’s cut on P+ in the same week and was really underwhelmed with the just about all of the new VFX. In particular, the big reveal shot of Vger outside of the cloud is truly awful. Looks like a goofy video game ship circa 2003. And as has been pointed out, zero effort was made to clean up any of the most glaring optical composite matte lines. Gripes aside, I’m still glad we got a resolution upgrade of the DC.
The observation lounge scene is pretty cringey with the way they cut around Kirk, Spock and McCoy to key out the background. It obvious they didn’t have the original material to make that scene look the best it could. Was disappointed that various blue screen spilled shots weren’t fixed for this version. Shouldn’t have been a problem with today’s technology. I mean, if you’re going to go with the trouble of fixing Spock and McCoy’s jacket colors, look into more distracting manners like that as well.
Yes, the lounge scene was absolutely terrible. :( I was shocked they put it into the film like that. Would have been much better to just stick a Nacelle outside the window like they did in 2001.
Loved this version, but was also put off by the cut around the figures in the lounge scene. Did it have something to do with the fact that the location of the nacelles outside the window has changed, in the DVD they were very prominent, here you can barely see them near the bottom of the window. Hope they fix this for the Blu-ray, I would almost hope they forget the nacelles entirely and restore the version of the scene from the theatrical version.
Oh jeez, this scene is bad too? I only watched parts of it last night. I agree that the nacelle was a dumb addition in the first place and just kinda distracting
I don’t know about “too”. I loved the rest of the movie.
The observation lounge rotoscope is TERRIBLE! It instantly removes one from the film, in a few frames Bones’ nose was even cut off. Hopefully they will fix this for the physical media release.
Otherwise, I thoroughly enjoyed this version, everything else was just so sweet :)
I just couldn’t watch it in its entirety. The movie has aged terribly and no “remastering” can fix a bad script and sluggish pace.
Sounds like I’m in the minority here but I was so put off by the 2001 nacelle I breathed a sigh of relief when I saw the new approach. It’s not perfect but I’m 100% for it after that weird-angle-low-res-paste-job from 2001.
“ I know engineers. They love to change things.”
Beautiful job with the upgraded TMP.
Looks and sounds incredible.
Only complaint is with Paramount +. Difficult to navigate menus- and a chore to actually find this film. Being a highly anticipated premiere, shouldn’t TMP be highlighted- and take a prominent position on their menu?
Whatever— it’s worth the search.
I agree. I thought it would be featured on the ‘splash page’ but I instead had to do a manual search for it instead. On any other platform it would have been prominently featured.
Agreed — I woke up at 6 AM this morning and fired up the Paramount+ app on my 4K TV, only to have to search deep into it just to find the movie on there. But I quickly added it to my bookmark-list, and it’s gonna be sitting right on my top page for many months to come now, here.
It’s nuts how bad the P+ interface is. Star Trek is a hub only under Shows, so even going there doesn’t get you to the movies.
They have a decent number of franchises, they should have a place for those prominently. Star Trek, Indiana Jones, Mission: Impossible, NCIS, South Park, Transformers, CSI…
This is why I will never hesitate to sh*t on P+ – it just has a disgraceful UI and completely neglects to organize content by franchise. Why isn’t there a Star Trek page?? For all the talk of Trek being the heart of their content strategy, P+ still has failed to emulate D+ in having its own “hubs” for franchises like Star Wars and Marvel.
It was a page-spanning ad right at the top of the Paramount+ home page when I opened the app. Hardly had to do anything but press one button!
Great review Brian and many thanks. I saw the movie on original release back in 79 while still at school (how time flies). I also look forward to viewing this version when Paramount+ comes to the UK.
I recall it being called ‘Star Trek The Slow Motion Picture’ in the past, but despite that I’d rather re-watch the majesty of it’s unfolding mystery storyline a hundred times compared to various big screen ‘revenge’ reboots in future.
Goldsmith’s wonderful score throughout is a big part of it’s overall appeal for me of course, and I just wish we could get a plot approaching some of it’s atmospheric vibe for the ‘Kelvin Timeline’ crew’s next big screen outing.
I’ve heard it once called Star Trek: The Motionless Picture by Eugene Roddenberry out of all people.
But you’re right, it at least tried to tell a thought provoking story and not just another uber-villain trying to blow up Earth for three straight movies.
Even though I have always loved it, I had a Trek friend who always called it “The Motion Sickness,” probably mainly because he knew it would set me off…lol
I’ll be checking this out soon, I thought it was a beautiful film to begin with. May even go check it out when Fathom brings it to theaters, too.
I know it’s not popular, but the two final things I’d love to see now that TMP has been treated properly is redoing many effects shows from Star Trek V (and maybe adding some more scenes) and then looking at recutting Nemesis with a Cast Cut. There was supposedly a lot of great stuff left on the cutting room floor for Nemesis. So would love to get those two films in as good of shape as possible.
I’d love to see a new cut of V. There’s some beautiful cinematography in that film but the visual effects fall far short of the mark.
Yeah, I second the Star Trek 5 visual update and directors cut. As far as I know Shatner did ask for this from Paramount around the same time they were preparing the Directors Edition of TMP but was rejected. I mean if they can get a Snyder Cut of Justice League out there surely they can release a Shatner cut of Final Frontier.
with Rock Monsters! :D
I’ve already got the DVD of the TMP Director’s Edition and it is a better movie with some great additional effects which you see above. I don’t have a 4K player and TVthough, only a blu ray, so if I want this new one, I guess I need a new TV, right?
Most 4K blu ray releases include a 2K disc as well now.
I started it at 11:05pm last night just to sate my curiosity with the first 10-15 minutes but instead wound up watching the whole thing. Was totally impressed. The upgraded sound grabs you immediately and doesn’t let go. Just a splendid job and I truly, genuinely loved it! Didn’t even fall asleep in the parts I normally do! Agree upthread about the observation lounge scene – that did not look good enough to warrant its inclusion. But you know what, if that’s what Robert Wise wanted and his wanting is what gave us the rest of this, then so be it. Congrats to the team and to older Trek fans who get a wonderful epilogue to our phase of the fandom.
I am excited to check this out, but live in Canada. It looks like by the language it says Paramount+ US. Seems odd it would only be exclusive to one region. Does anyone know where / if this is viewable in other regions?
I watched it on P+ in Canada this morning. All of the Trek shows appear to have been added.
That’s great! All of the trek shows meaning Picard and Discovery as well? Determining to sign up to P+ vs Crave knowing they also have the newer shows and in anticipation for SNW.
I definitely prefer the Theatrical cut to the Director’s Cut (which is also restored), if only because the added CGI elements are very poorly done and clash with the opticals. The CGI V’Ger is astonishingly bad, I mean jaw-dropping bad amateurish work. The restoration only makes me appreciate the brilliance of the VFX from the original movie. I’m surprised they didn’t improve some of the opticals once they had the pieces to do so, such as the shaky composits and edge masking problems. I have to assume they didn’t really restore those opticals beyond rescanning the final edit. Still a nice improvement, especially the phenomenal audio on this movie.
No, they recomposited the optical effects when the original elements were available. Some have sadly gone missing but the stuff they did have looks great, aside from my previously mentioned issue with the over reduction in film grain.
Everyone is entitled to their opinion, of course, but even at the time the TMP visuals were considered a mixed bag, ranging from the beautifully crafted (the Enterprise drydock sequence) to the frankly inept (the saucer wingwalk), no surprise given the volume of work required in such a compressed timeframe. I happen to think that the new digital effects very nicely complement the former, and vastly improve upon the latter, but to each, his own.
I agree, though would point out they snagged Star Trek’s only VFX Oscar nod to date.
Ian … ALIEN won that year, not TMP. Trek’s only Oscar is I believe for makeup from one of the Abrams movies, incredibly enough, as Goldsmith also didn’t win for TMP.
Yep. A Little Romance won Best Original Score.
Don’t remember that one? No one else does, either.
He said Oscar nod, meaning it was nominated, not that it won.
You are just wrong on how they improved the V’ger scenes — just way off base.
To be clear, TMP is my hands-down, bar-none, all-time favorite movie.
That being said, I agree that VGer looks so terribly awful. Cartoonish. I am thrilled with almost everything else, but the view of VGer when emerging from the cloud and firing on Earth is, as you said, astonishingly bad. Ditto for the rear view when it “blows up”. I does look better on my iPad, but on the 85” TV, it completely took me out of the movie.
I really like the little stuff they added, such as the Enterprise turning around when it reaches VGer’s front. Stuff like that makes a huge difference overall.
The audio is killer. This alone is worth the entire effort.
This is a stunning transfer and the sound mix is fantastic.
For those who weren’t there when this film was released, it’s impossible to describe the feeling of seeing this for the first time in a theater after watching the series in syndication for nearly a decade. We wouldn’t see a Star Trek film produced on this scale again until 2009 and the level of detail that went into producing TMP wouldn’t be fully appreciated for years.
And something completely lost on me when I was a kid was the fractured dynamic between Kirk, Spock and McCoy. Kirk drags McCoy back into Starfleet to keep himself focused but there was also a need on Kirk’s part to have one of his closest friends by his side, leading to friction between the two men with McCoy even questioning if Kirk is best suited for this mission. Later, when Spock returns and tells Kirk that it is to their mutual benefit that he is on the Enterprise while meeting in the observation lounge, Shatner’s reaction is beautifully played: He seems genuinely surprised and hurt by Spock’s response before recovering and taking command of the situation to move forward. After questioning it for years, it became apparent to me that the writer’s had a full understanding of the relationship between these three men.
It’s amazing what they managed to pull off in 1979 and Robert Wise would love what they’ve managed to do here.
Now if only Paramount+ was a platform capable of presenting content as it was intended to be seen…
kirk’s middle life arc spans the OS movies as well as spock’s development, which sees the character rebooted after his ‘death’ in ‘khan so we kind of get a different spock in IV, V, VI and the 2009 movie
I’ve found it to be one of the worst HD transfers in a long time – and Paramount is the King of half-a**ed DVD transfers. Clearly this was all about Mr. Wise’s directors cut and completing scenes to make that possible. No attention AT ALL is paid to Mr. Wise’s intent/wishes as a Director supervising a Director’s Edition of an HD transfer.
He would not have promoted this release any more than he promoted the original release of the film. Except this time he wouldn’t have faded into the background and remained silent – no doubt he would have given a tell-all interview to Variety and Hollywood Reporter about how Paramount hires talented people and then tosses their control to assistants – something he knew a great deal about.
The new visual effects and correction and transfer of the existing VFX composites is some of the worst I’ve seen in a long time. The only thing the HD transfer has done is to make EVERY process shot painfully obvious. And it does the same for every mistake and oversight in the camera originals.
I’ll say this, using this transfer as a drinking game is much more fun than in the past. I streamed this simultaneously with 5 friends. Every time Spock’s uniform changed color – a drink. Every time a stage hand or support element appeared on screen – a drink. Every time an actor reduced to stunned googly eyes with mouth agape – a drink. Honestly between the sequence in the lounge, Scotty in the engine room, the V’ger plasma probe on the bridge, and decent actors reduced to reacting to a view screen, I was crocked before the movie was half over!
Sounds like this is getting mixed reviews. I tried watching it shortly after midnight, but it wasn’t available yet so I watched some of the theatrical version so I can have a point of comparison for when I finally see it.
September here we come…not going to watch it on inferior streaming. If the Fathom Event near me really uses a 4K projector, then I would do that.
Really happy to read what a comprehensive remaster this appears to be. Can’t wait to watch this again via physical media. Streaming looks good but the image can still break down sometimes, especially during quicker pans and cuts.
I’ve watched most of this… and this is gorgeous.
Also, the tightened pacing of this cut plus new sound for the 4k, to me, moves the film along even more than the 2001 version. Fewer “dead” moments of faces/reactions/scenery… really illustrates how sound influences a film IMHO. And there’s one new Kirk line near the end, if I’m not mistaken. And perhaps some alternate ADR here and there? I want to see this in the theater for sure.
To pick nits, as we are wont to do on this site, I wish the new CGI looked a little… I dunno… wobblier, especially V’ger approaching earth. Everything moves a little too precisely, without analog artifacts. Yet, to be fair, not as video gamey as the 2001 version… so that’s good. (And I loved that version, too.)
I’m picking nits.
This is stunning.
I almost miss the more languid pace. (Kidding.) But for comfort food on a rainy day, there is the 4k theatrical cut!
Congratulations to the filmmakers. And may Robert Wise rest in peace.
VGer approaching Earth is cartoonish. Really bad. Nearly everything else gets an A+, especially the audio.
I was watching the BR a couple weeks ago and my wife and I kept commenting on the weird split-focus that Wise wanted to use. Some scenes just make no sense and I’d love to hear the blurred the appropriate side. For example, Kirk is talking to Spock maybe when he first comes on the ship, and theres the bad-hair bulbous head guy standing at his station in the background, super sharp. Why? Why? Why have the no-name crew in focus? It’s a distraction for sure.
The idea ‘in theory’ is that since they shot low-light levels and had very limited depth of field (means shallow focus) for much of the movie and nearly all of the bridge scenes, that the split-field diopters would give the impression of greater depth of field. And when used properly, with the right lighting and contrast, the trick will often work, though a wandering viewer eye can usually detect its use. Wise’s ANDROMEDA and HINDENBURG both use diopters a lot, and there were only a couple shots in the latter that I found problematic … ANDROMEDA (which was shot by TMP’s DP) has more of a problem, again owing to the set environments not being well-suited to the look, but it almost never comes off like the obnoxious blob you cite with ‘Kirk sees Spock again.’
But the TMP bridge and the way it was lit didn’t really offer hard line demarcations to hide the ‘split’ where the diopter line separating clear glass from diopter took place, so you wound up with washes of out of focus bridge that was only emphasized by the weird elements of the background that did seem sharp. Makes the scene distracting as Hell with a mushy look that seems unnatural, as opposed to traditional out of focus fallover in DoF, especially on closeups.
Way too much blame to go around on this one; DP came on late with only 1 month prep, but even if thay hadn’t tested with this lighting, they could have stopped using them when they did see the results. The idea that the whole thing was caused by having to reduce the wattage in the consoles to keep the buttons from melting — along with the idiotic call to use dim rear-projection on most displays instead of using CRTs with video playback, which was how even Disney was able to do all this on THE BLACK HOLE at the same time and how TWOK and the sequels operated — suggests the whole look of the film was driven not by artistic concerns, but by tech limitations that should have been easily overcome, even if they hadn’t been anticipated.
Wow, you couldn’t be more academic or more NOT familiar with Wise’s shooting style OR with the substantial skills of Mr. Kline, the cinematographer. Deliberately screwing a complex shot either because of blocking, lighting, camera block, or combinations is a very old trick used by all the greats and their teams so that they can stay on shooting schedule with the idea of picking the shot(s) up during re-shoots.
Why do you think on the master reveal of the bridge, all you can see is the extra’s junk slinging around in his jumpsuit? Because Wise, Kline, and Mr. Ramsay were too stupid to notice a swing crotch shot in the middle of the 65mm frame?
Mr. Wise, especially, was notorious for staging complex scenes that just weren’t coming together in the time allotted on the schedule by using the diopter where there WAS NO chance of hiding the transition in the lenses and moving the sequence to re-shoots so that he and the team had time to rethink the progression of the shots and the setups before staging it again under less pressure.
Re-shoots were a standard part of his deal since the mid-60’s and Paramount’s breach of this and director’s final-cut were one of a long list of Paramount violations that caused Mr. Wise to petition the DGA to have his name removed from the film and his refusal to do most of the promotion that Paramount had booked with him.
On the plus side – the dude with the huge forehead and really bad wig in perfect focus (he’s Kirk’s coat-check after returning from V’ger) and all the equally shocking abuses of Scott by the b-unit in the engine room are just more DRINK moments in the film – like every time Spock’s uniform shifts from blue to gray and back again, and again, and again! :)
I’m pretty well-read on the subject of cinematography, but admit I’ve not heard any of this previously, so a part of me is thinking it is a put-on. However, a friend did email me a huge document that is apparently a definitive Wise bio (have only skimmed the TMP portions and DAY THE EARTH thus far), so I’ll take a look and see if there is actually any support for this position of yours.
Given that the schedule was adjusted from 60 to 100 days after the first two weeks of shooting, and certainly went well beyond even that figure with how long they were on the v’ger set, would not come to any conclusion about Wise not getting to do reshoots (especially when practically the last stretch of live-action was a reshoot of the tag that happened at Shat’s behest.) A constant issue for the duration of the main shoot (not counting the SF, klingon, epsilon or new spacewalk scenes) was the concern that they might have to shut down to wait for the vger set … why would that be an issue if Wise could have just used that time on the standing sets to do what you are talking about?
As for Kline, the man did good work a number of times, but overall I was not impressed with his resume. Personally, I thought BODY HEAT looked godawful (why light women from beneath? Was it a carryover from TMP?) SOYLENT GREEN is sometimes overlit to the point of seeming like a TV show, and I have to wonder about how he seemed to accede to the PD on TMP about nearly everything. Not saying they had to go at it tooth&nail like the folks on SOMETHING WICKED THIS WAY COMES or the original STAR WARS, but all I see on most of TMP is surprisingly unflattering soft light, which runs counter to pretty much every prime directive a DP might operate under.
Yeah, I took a look through the rest of that book and didn’t find any references to this supposed penchant Wise had for reshooting let alone deliberately screwing up the first time in order to reshoot at his leisure.
Also have a hard time with your claim that Wise petitioned DGA to have his name removed, when he actually carried the damn print to the premiere. I’ve also dropped a line to the one guy I know who seems to have more insider TMP info than anyone else, to see if he can weigh in on these claims of yours.
I had trouble finding the movie as it wasn’t listed as ‘new’ or appearing on the main page. Its as if Paramount didn’t want anyone to easily find it.
To save time, I watched it on the iMac not bothering to set up the system to watch it properly and just wanted to enjoy it and let whatever changes come that were alerting.
The overture arrangement is different. Was it the original theatrical one? I was looking for the piano playing the Ilia theme towards the end but maybe that was added only for the album soundtrack.
The Las Vegas sparkles to the opening credits was unexpected and awful. I was thinking is THIS what was wanted had they had time to do a proper opening credit sequence? I’m thinking if you’re spending $40M on a pic in 1979, either its going to be Superman-bombastic or Alien-esque cool with movements through various space phenomenon (quasers, comets, asteroid fields, etc) set to Goldsmith’s march ending with the area of space of the Vger cloud.
The sound fx are a mixed bag. Vger’s plasma energy bolt have less of that annoying whireee sound but enough of it to neuter its dramatic bite that was supposed to set up Vger’s ‘divine’ power of destruction during the opening. The engine sound has the TNG engine beating THUGTHUG THUG, which I don’t understand to this day why they included it as it came AFTER and was more suited to the the light sequence from that ship’s warp core. The warp whooosh has that 1930s radio frequency sound but still detracts. I’m thinking why the retro choices with the sound fx mix when it was Wise, himself, who dictated to the visual and sound fx people to create things that were never heard or seen before. During the attack on the Enterprise, I could hear a snippet of the 1960s engine sound mixed in.
Some of the newer dialogue looping changes were interesting. Kirk saying to Sonak..to be on the bridge following his meeting with Nogura had less of the original’s urgency. There are more but
I’ve forgotten them by now. Have to see it again…
The film quality overall is superb! I’ve seen people whom I didn’t see before after 42 years of viewing! Mostly background people and the clarity of their faces and costume. In the rec dec scene I saw this girl that with makeup resembled one of those hog looking aliens from TOS that was murdered in a Vulcan-style fashion.
Since the movie is now properly preserved, I think they should make at least 1 good 70mm roadshow quality print. With all the work that went from obtaining most of the original 65 mm elements to cleaning and preserving, why not? If interest in this new edition sells well, perhaps make 3D version for another release in a Fathom-type or limited theatrical run.
One thing I picked up on the audio which I’ve literally never heard before until I watched this last night – during the V’ger attack when they cut to the warp core getting zapped, you can very clearly hear the Wilhelm scream and it’s just so, so corny. Every time I hear it I laugh, and it’s completely misplaced in that moment.
Haha I started it up and was so excited and settling in with the overture and then the credits came on and I was like “The credits are sparkling! Wow it looks so good!” I loved it
I was surprised — okay, not surprised, actually, but definitely annoyed — by the amount of effort I had to put into finding this on Paramount +.
Here’s the thing. I subscribed to CBS All Access from day one of Discovery, and have been with it almost continuously ever since. Have never missed a single episode of Trek they’ve put out. I watch them at the first available opportunity 99% of the time.
AND YET, the Paramount + app didn’t have the sense to have this movie front and center in my suggestions.
Paramount, are you at some point going to at least begin pretending you’re not in the bush leagues of streamers?
Paramount’s sole concern at this point is being purchased by another company. That’s Viacom’s endgame, so, their consumer product offerings aren’t going to get the TLC they need to succeed, unfortunately.
Also, I notice that most streaming platforms have trouble offering mixed content. In other words, if you watch a bunch of TV shows, they’re not always likely to offer the movie based on that TV show or similar movies. BUT, yeah, you’d think with P+ that they’d have the Star Trek part of their ecosystem all sorted out. On the TV menu, they even have their own Trek section. Weird that they don’t have it linked to the movies.
I had just the opposite, It was front and center on the homepage for me
It made the homepage sometime in the late afternoon.
I saw the new Directors Edition of Star Trek: The Motion Picture once it came out on Paramount Plus + this morning and the movie has never looked or sounded any better than it does here. Also the shots of the enterprise leaving drydock so much more clear than in the Theatrical Edition. Also the sound in Dolby Atmos amazing in 5.1. Can’t wait for this to come out on physical media on 4K UHD Blu-Ray Disc this September !!!
Such an underrated film.
This film could never be made today. It’s too intelligent/thoughtful and adult oriented. If it were made today Kirk, Spock + McCoy would be turned into unrecognizable losers (see Luke Skywalker) and would be forced to share the screen with younger (less interesting) stereotypical characters and a lot of explosions.
Looking forward to seeing this in 4k
Absolutely agreed, in fact this is the film that made me a big Trek fan in the first place. Before watching this I was mostly a Star Wars fan, but seeing TMP for the first time made me realize how smart, imaginative sci-fi can be with big, thought provoking ideas and I didn’t look back since. In fact I’d go so far as to say that TMP made me a fan of more smart science-fiction in general.
Just signed up for P+ today (I knew I would!) and watched the first half-hour of TMP. The detail, clarity, and color are impressive. Looks better than I’ve seen it in a while! Pleased. :)
If you haven’t signed up for P+ already, maybe consider doing so just for one month and only just to see this movie. It increases the chances of P+ doing more streaming exclusive remasters like… oh, I don’t know… DEEP SPACE NINE …
Honestly never liked this movie and my grand rewatch of the franchise confirmed it once again last year.
But I have to admit, this looks stunning. It really feels like a true upgrade to the film. I will probably give it a watch now just to see all the new effects in it.
Now give us remastered versions DS9 and VOY already!!!
It wasn’t intuitively placed on Paramount+ (as a Trek fan I thought it would be), but once I got there I enjoyed it for what it is. It’s been improved. The sound design above all else. As the review noted, there are more layers to it now (not just the elimination of the annoying klaxon and computer voice that was done in 2000). The film of course also looks so much better. But the storytelling weaknesses of the movie can’t be improved; that’s set in stone. I don’t call it the ‘Motionless Picture’; I call it the ‘Bad Vibes’ movie; everyone is seething or barking at each other for the first half of it. One aspect I recently realized was how poorly the film reflects on the beloved ‘Miracle Worker’. Scotty promises Kirk that he wouldn’t dare to disappoint him and that the ship would be ready. Of course, it wasn’t. And he further dismissed the transporter malfunction as “a wee problem”. Two people end up dead. Etc., etc. Along with DISC and Picard, the old saying applies well: “If it ain’t on the page, it ain’t on the stage”.
Nice mini review Anthony, I agree with everything you say.
Well, from a storytelling perspective the crew not getting along initially is a key point. Its supposed to uncomfortable to watch it play out. Its been years since they worked together, Bones is mad he got “drafted” there, Spock is a closed-off emotional mess after failing his big test on Vulcan, Kirk is insecure and can’t handle being undermined/overridden by Decker. That makes it all the more effective and important when they all finally gel in the second half, and smoothly work together to deal with the situation.
And it’s not Scotty’s fault that issues he could never had anticipated crop up. And like the rest of the crew, he’s rusty and having to deal with a new ship. I don’t recall him brushing off the transporter accident, either, but maybe I missed it.
He makes the “wee problem” with the transporter comment when he meets Kirk to pilot the shuttle pod to the Big E. So the issue was known in advance as was the problems with balancing the warp engines. So his assurances that everything would be okey-dokey weren’t credible. And McCoy is later lightly razzed for not wanting to step into the transporter (not long *after* two people had died in it???) is another example of slipshod writing in TMP.
“In the far distance, the distinctively pointed shape of the old TRANSAMERICA BUILDING. Everywhere else, the San Francisco urban sprawl is totally gone, replaced by lovely groves of large trees, green meadows, streams, lakes, and crystal clear air. (There still exists a small San Francisco “Living Museum” city but it is far enough away to be hidden by trees and will not appear in this story.) Here, as in much of the world, people live mostly in the climate-controlled, colorful and efficient “subterra cities.” All industry and transport is now underground. Clearly Earth has become the home of a people who love and protect their living planet.” – Star Trek: The Motion Picture Draft Screenplay by Gene Roddenberry (1978).
Thanks for the review. Decided to watch it and I agree with the fullness of the sound and improved visuals. I still think it runs a little long, but I didn’t expect major changes there. When I think about it in retrospect, they were probably trying to show what Star Trek would be with a much larger budget. They never would have spent money on a TV show back then.
Just sign up — and canceled — for P+ … But no 4k version for Canadian residents, just the theatrical release ( HD ) and director’s cut (SD) … No First Contact day release for your neighbour.
What are you talking about? It’s on there. I watched it and I’m in Canada. I think some versions of the P+ app must behave differently and require a search before it shows up but on my Google tv Chromecast, it’s under new releases
Did you try again Patrice because it’s on there.
Yep. Only the HD theatrical version is available here through the app.
Just check again on P+ via AppleTV and … no 4k version of the Director’s Cut .. only SD. Sad ;-( I was looking forward for that … I guess I’ll have to wait for the September release.
Awesome… thanks for the heads up. I’m stuck at home with Covid so its the next billing on the 75″!
Haven’t seen this yet and will be waiting for the September physical release. I have to say, I’m very concerned about what I’m hearing regarding the lounge scene. If enough people conplained, would there be any chance of it being pulled and replaced with either an uprezzed 2001 or 4k theatrical version of it, before September? Or is this now locked, and we have to live with it? The scene is arguably one of the better character scenes in the movie, and for Fein and Co to screw it up because they can’t resist tinkering, well, I’m astonished.
Lol. Upon reflection, no they wouldn’t do that. If it’s locked for streaming then it would be locked for blu ray too. With this and other issues I’m reading about online, I’ll have to reconsider whether I want to purchase this version, or just stick with the theatrical and 2001 versions.
Just how bad does the lounge scene look now? Because it ALWAYS looked terrible, with those crazy colorshifts everytime they went to an angle favoring the bluescreen starfield, since they broke a cardinal rule of old-school filmmaking in that you don’t shoot people in blue costumes against a bluescreen unless you’ve figured out a way of messing with the color record to bring things back in afterward.
First SW movie had a problem with blue matte lines predominating and they dealt with it by (and this is a short version answer, it was more complicated than this) throwing out that color record, but that only worked because it was a spaceship, not a person already seen in non-bluescreen shots, so nobody would know whether it was supposed to read as white-grey vs. grey-blue.
I’ve read three reports already suggesting going back to the theatrical version would be an improvement, but has anybody said anything about why — assuming the original elements couldn’t be found and digitally recomped — they didn’t just spend a ton of money correcting the colors on a frame by frame basis?
It has nothing to do with the colors, it’s the cropping around the characters! The original elements were probably not available.
Back in 2001, Daren R. Dochterman really wanted to fix the set behind the actors as it was supposed to be a large set of windows looking out at the Nacelle’s. He didn’t have the time or tech at the time to rotoscope the characters and put in the digital set. As a compromise, you see one of the nacelles in the window in the 2001 edition.
This time around, he replaced the window with the digital set he always wanted but at the expense of the cropping looking terrible. I don’t know if it could be fixed with a bit more time and care but it definitely needs it. It’s easily one of the most jarring and poorly done shots in the whole film now….which is a shame because the digital set itself looks pretty good.
Interesting about the colour correction, but time or budget limitations could have prevented this? In any case, the original scene never looked perfect but, effects wise, you could accept it as being as a product of it’s time, and move on. Here you have the problem of heavy handed CG and apparently botched rotoscoping, used in a bid to ‘correct’ something, actually making it look much worse. But I can’t comment on it too much since I haven’t actually seen the damn thing yet. Let’s put it this way, being honest with myself, I’m too much of a TMP fan to not pick this up at some point. But with all the negative stuff I’m hearing, it’s looking less like a day one/full price purchase.
I just signed up for P+ for the month to watch it. Was only 7 dollars. Worth it to check it out for yourself.
The new CGI looked seamless to me, with the one exception being a close view of the Enterprise that looked too pristine. The theatrical version already released already has the accepted ‘product of its time’ issues, and is still available for anyone who wants it. All the negative stuff I’m hearing amounts to 15 seconds of a poorly rotoscoped shot in a 2h 15m movie. It’s the only objectively bad issue, the rest of the changes are a matter of preference.
I feel you with the ‘too much of a TMP fan to not pick this up’ thing, but I’m really starting to wonder if the only answer is to pick up all the versions and then learn editing software, because my now decades-old cry for a cut-your-own-TMP really sounds like the only thing that will give me satisfaction w/o distraction.
The theatrical version has been my strong preference all along, for the sound choices and the VFX, but from what I’ve read, the theatrical UHD manages to ruin a lot of the spaceship VFX (not just the one dock shot) and that the problem pops up on the sequels in the set as well (I saw a couple of BoP frames from TVH that looked like they were copied from videotape, they looked so weirdly smeared.) So I have been sticking with my 09 blu set for now, which certainly has its own issues, but which I can, by manipulating various brightness and contrast controls, make pretty watchable when I re-view (which is often, far more than all the rest of the movies put together.)
The theatrical certainly has its problems visually (why Trumbull threw out the perfectly first matte on Vulcan and replaced it with the 3rD ROCK FROM SUN overbusiness with moons bopping across the sky I’ll never understand, and I’ve interviewed the guy, and nobody has ever explained how the little guy fleeing ep9 survived a daililes review, let alone inclusion in the final cut, as it has been wince-making for forever.
The fact that VFX finals arrived too late to be cut into the theatrical always made me think the wingwalk at the end could have been improved post-release, and I never got why the DE team went with low-rz CG instead of trying to find the alternates, unless it was to put their stamp on things (which seems to have worked with a lot of fans, but not with me.)
Also, given that there is little perspective change in the 2001 DE shots, I didn’t see why they couldn’t have gone old-school and just animated still cutouts of the E … it certainly wouldn’t have cost a ton to acquire some of Virgil Mirano’s incredibly stills of the E, then add the blinking lights on an animation stand, and by shooting that in 35mm, you’d have sidestepped the whole issue of resolution being substandard that seriously plagued the DE (for me anyway.) Plus the DE kind of steamrollers GR’s adherence to science aspect by popping in what looks like a stock pyro shot from an old library CD-ROM, disregarding the flames-don’t-exist-in-vacuum aspect. There’s an Apogee pyro shot seen in the longer TMP trailer that didn’t get released, the one on the DE extras disk I think, showing the debris from the asteroid, and the sliver of the shot looks quite good. Never understood why production used that terrible Abel test shot in its place, so again, something that was never done right in any version, as in the theatrical, the torp’s trail makes it look like it misses the asteroid and exits out of the wormhole before it could hit.
I suppose I should also disclose the fact that I don’t have a high opinion of those DE folks based on limited, long-distance interaction in late 2001, when as a staff writer with Cinefex, I made preliminary inquiries to Foundation Imaging about doing a story on the TMP DE (to give evidence of my enthusiasm, I remember during this period having Dochterman’s CG refit image as my desktop.) It was planned as the only other story in what was going to be an all-2001: a space odyssey retrospective ssue, which I thought was appropriate, and FI seemed enthusiastic, but then Fein (or was it Mattesino? Don’t remember, but whichever it was, it was the guy who did occasional laserdisc reviews for Cinefex) called my boss to complain about my ‘harassing’ Foundation, at which point the story went away (don’t look too hard for the 2001 issue; while it is pretty good and only contains about a dozen errors (like getting the YEAR that ‘dawn of man’ was shot wrong), it is maybe half the size of the piece I was editing. You’re better off tracking down a copy of Michael Benson’s SPACE ODYSSEY, which I see is unfortunately no longer selling for cheap at Hamilton Books … he got access to the tapes I had meticulously transcribed 18 years earlier and included a ton of info from them, making that a much more definitive accounting.)
Sorry for going on and on, just came off a near-allnighter finishing up writing about Par+’s THE OFFER, which is absolutely terrific, and I’m using this to unwind before going on to my day job.
It wasn’t the actors’ costumes that were the problem (at least that I noticed on one viewing), but the actors’ FACES were distorted.
Nothing is ever really ‘locked’ for streaming. They could always update it, happens all the time.
Yeah, as if doing visual effects cost nothing…
You left out the word ‘well.’
Effects changes were made to some TNG episodes after they were released on blu-ray. If the blu-ray isn’t due until September, there is time to fix this issue and maybe get the team to tweak a few other issues as well. It’s ‘almost’ perfect. That’s the great thing about digital files. They can be swapped in at a later date.
Wouldn’t that be great?
It’s 5 shots from one camera angle, totaling maybe 15 seconds. It does look bad, but I didn’t even notice when I was watching it, only after re-viewing after reading the complaints. I was too engrossed in the story, and each shot is just a few seconds long so it barely registers. All of the important dialogue is spoken in other shots w/o the window in view.
Really? Because I just viewed a screenshot of the offending scene (on an Avforums TMP Directors Edition thread) and I have to say, I’m stunned. At first I thought it was a joke picture posted as a prank, but no, apparently that indeed is what it looks like in the movie. What were they thinking? I said before that I was too much of a fan to not buy this at some point…but I think I just changed my mind. Excessive DNR, losing Kirk’s second ‘Viewer off!’ line to Uhura, ‘weird’ colour grading (to some) ….all of these are problematic, but probably not dealbreakers when set against the general sound and picture benefits. But that lounge scene is just too much. Absolutely shocking. And it does a lot more than just ‘barely register’. If the scene isn’t replaced by the September launch, I won’t be purchasing this.
I’m sure Paramount-CBS will get over it.
We just started watching it last night. Got about halfway and decided to take a break.
Here are my initial impressions:
-The visuals are fantastic for the most part. There are a few nitpicks I have; first of which, that observation deck scene? Disgusting. It was seriously cringe.
-I noticed they changed a few things in the movie. Showed Earth next to Spacedock, changed the alarm and added the computer chirps. It was great!
-The audio is INCREDIBLE. I want to pick up the new soundtrack!
Excited to watch the bottom half. Although, I forgot how boring and long going through V’ger is.
Yeah, the observation lounge scene was awful. I hope they can fix it. :(
I actually tried watching it too but I stopped after 20 minutes lol. I ended up watching First Contact instead to celebrate the day. I’m going to try and start again but even new effects just doesn’t drive me to watch it. It’s just too dry for me. But the stuff I did see look great at least.
Just finished it… looked and sounded great. Haven’t seen it for a long time and with the new special effects its an absolute cracker of a movie. Good to be able to make heads and tails of the giant Vger spaceship for the first time too!
Fantastic review, many thanks! Ohhh this sounds/looks so good! Cursing the fact I’m in the UK and will have to wait, but this’ll be a day 1 pre-order for the 4k UHD set when it becomes available. My joint favourite of the original cast films along with The Voyage Home. Very appreciative of all the hard work, love and passion that’s evidently gone into this re-re-do – This is ‘my’ Star Trek! :)
I watched it last night. TMP is my favorite Star Trek movie, and this is a fantastic upgrade. But I’ll agree with many people here regarding a couple of the negatives. Love the new opening credits but dislike the transition. I thought it was a streaming glitch at first. Agree with people here regarding the observation deck scene. That really took me out of the movie. Awful. On the positive side of things, the Dolby Atmos sound improvements are what I appreciated most.
I’ll be buying the 4K BR when it’s released in September.
I have only been able to watch the opening sequence with the Klingon battle with V’ger so far. I have to say that I was disappointed that they did not “enhance” these scenes at all. The same effects issues present since the original release of the film are still there. I was hoping for some digital magic to really make this scene pop.
The opening scene was sadly one of the few where the original effects elements were missing / lost so they could not be digitally composited. Everything in the movie where they did have the original elements to work with looks stunning.
Yes, I understand. However, with today’s technology it would have been possible to “digitally recreate” these elements, especially since a physical model exists that can be scanned and used as a template. I know this adds expense, but it would have been nice to see.
I don’t think that was really in the budget or the timeline, plus all the physical models were auctioned off several years ago. They wouldn’t have access to them anymore. Taking time to hand paint out the matte lines would have been possible but of course time consuming.
I watched last night and it really is a beautiful upgrade. I’ve seen the movie many times and still very much enjoyed this version.
Just watched the 4K version. It’s amazing! Like a whole new film. I remember being 15 years old watching the film in 1979 with my grandfather. And I remember how the film seemed to drag along and the effects were not quite “there”. Seeing the cast reunite was the thing.
But… in this 4K version…. My mind was blown at how great everything looked AND sounded!!! And the special effects were outstanding. FINALLY….. I could see the V’ger cloud in all it’s amazing detail.
Kudos to ALL the artists who brought this film to life! It truly was a labor of love.
I’m amazed and very happy they addressed my biggest issue with the original movie- hardly any effects shots of the Enterprise in relation to V’Ger. There are lots now, and V’Ger looks even more massive and menacing because of them. Awesome.
Time for my nitpicks :D but thank you to everyone who worked on this and made it as good as possible for the 4/5 release. I just hope more edits can be made before now and the Blu-Ray.
I didn’t watch the whole film, only some sequences that I know inside and out, but the restoration has in fact left me a little bewildered at what they still didn’t manage to do, or what still feels kinda off.
Firstly, I thought with the digital compositing there would be no matte lines. There still are! You can see it right off the bat with the Klingon ships approaching the cloud. The V’ger cloud shots are also still incredibly grainy compared to other effects shots.
I was hoping they wouldn’t do the corny “focus in” effect on the main title graphics, which feels very 2001 – look at what fancy built-in effects come with our editing software! I like how in the theatrical cut the titles just appear on the screen, bombastic with the music. The effect of the letters coming into focus literally dilutes the impact, and the font also has this weird sparkly tint to it that again just seems way overproduced. Why do the letters need to glint in this sort of fake digital way?
For the leaving drydock scene, they missed at least one fleck of dust that I was still able to spot on the engineering hull. Seriously, they have had the ability to pore over every frame of this thing for years and years, and they weren’t able to get everything, which is kinda aggravating. Also, when the sun rises from behind the Earth, they seriously darkened the ship to make the visual pop more. That’s definitely the “beauty shot” that actually has no matte lines and looks perfect, although I think it now starts off way too dark.
They still didn’t fix the nav console “radar screen” during the approaching V’ger sequence, where it’s wavy and looks like the piece of paper that it probably is. They could’ve digitally smoothed it out to be round the way it’s supposed to look. I had pointed this out to Daren this summer hoping they would be able to tweak it.
Also, I’m less of a fan of this version of the second torpedo being disarmed versus the DVD release. That shot of the Enterprise looks so CG, and I liked how on the DVD the torpedo sort of winked out, but in this new release it sort of flashes out in a bang. It’s such a subtle change that nonetheless I find inferior to the way they originally re-did it.
I also just don’t like the sound of the red alert klaxon this time around. I haven’t seen the DVD in decades now so I can’t really compare, but it sounds different to my ears now compared to what I remember.
All said, I wish that they hadn’t made certain changes to the 4K release compared to the DVD 20 years ago. Certain shots look really lovely, but there are still some matte lines I wish they had been able to smooth over. This is literally the pickiest of nits, just wanted to get them out, and maybe I’ll have more to note when I see it in theaters next month. But I’m super glad this version gets to exist, and I appreciate all the hard work people have spent over decades to get it done.
As mentioned in a couple of articles the team wasn’t able to find all of the original effects elements, some are presumable lost / misplaced, so there are still a few effects shots with visible matte lines and the opening scene with the Klingon ships is one of them sadly.
I also hope that the team can fix a few remaining issues before committing this cut to disc in September…that officers lounge roto scoping really needs to be improved or just the original effects from the theatrical put back in.
And hopefully before the theatrical release in May. Can you imagine that officers lounge scene on the big screen?!
But I feel like you can digitally erase matte lines the same way you can erase dust – you take the before and after and you composite it using computer magic
There’s a lot in VFX that doesn’t quite work as advertised. In 2000 I heard about a matting system called Knockout that would let you do just about anything — then Disney quietly folded that ‘The Secret Lab’ company (after only a couple years earlier, buying and destroying DreamQuest Images to acquire said talent pool.)
Back in 2014 I was hearing about a system that was on the horizon that would let you identify and isolate objects in frame based on their distance from camera — so theoretically, you could just be filming somebody out of doors on a busy street, and it would isolate just the people 15 feet away (or 15 ft and 20 ft, whatever you dialed in) and be able to matte them into a different environment. That horizon must still be on the horizon, haven’t seen anything about it actually happening.
I’m not saying what you suggest is impossible, but it does sound impractical … as in, too much effort and not a guaranteed quality result. As AI gets smarter, this sort of thing should get easier, but TMP’s matte lines sometimes ‘chatter’ so that might require more smarts to figure out, and you’d have to be working at resolutions high enough that the result isn’t just a fuzzing of the line or too-sharp of a delineation.
If you read some of the in-the-weeds articles on VFX of the 70s, like CINEFANTASTIQUE’s piece on CLOSE ENCOUNTERS and STAR WARS and some of what is mentioned about ALTERED STATES, you see that for all the science and math and tech involved in making the work successful, that a lot of it ultimately rested on human operators finessing things by eye, usually slipping the mismatch part of a shot on the part of frame that viewers are least likely to see. And that’s with even the best work being done, which I think everybody would have agreed was Trumbull’s stuff. But even there, I remember seeing stars ghost through the edge of the mothership as it crossed overhead (not the reveal, the shots showing it moving before doing its flip) and having to concede that nobody is perfect.
In reading that last paragraph, it occurred to me that stuff about human operators almost sounds like an argument in favor of human intelligence still being essential for espionage in the spysat age, a notion that I guess keeps going out of favor but seems a no-brainer to me. Based on what I can bring myself to read about current events, I think the HUMINT factor is really helping with the current war on the side of the angels, and for once it seems like our intelligence agencies have gotten things right when it mattered. Question is whether that will be enough (end side-rant.)
Thrilled with the updated visuals but absolutely floored by the sound. I’ve watched it twice now with the Atmos mix (with Apple AirPods Max) and there are soooo many new little touches everywhere I don’t even know where to begin. Overall the mix contributed to a sensation I’ve never experienced while watching this movie – genuine tension. Congrats to the team, amazing work!
Ha-ha: Atmos on earphones!
There is indeed Atmos for headphones. Apple Music has a whole catalog of very interesting new and remastered mixes in Atmos. Their newer AirPods products support Atmos.
I watched it with AirPods Max, too. I didn’t know about this setting! Gonna have to watch it again!
This version of the film is for me, now the definitive version. The new sound mix is excellent, in my opinion. The “lounge” scene is never going to look great but this version of it improves on the original. The scene with the energy probe on the Bridge has always looked really bad and now looks much better. I never thought it could be so dramatically improved.
As others have commented, the overall look of the film is much “warmer”.
Paramount has made mistakes in the past in their handling of Star Trek, but this time, they put the money into getting things right. For that, I am grateful.
that attack on the bridge was always my favourite moment in the film, even if the effects were wobbly.
it just so unnerving and creepy.
not 4K and no atmos sound in Canada…will have to wait in September for the 4K bluray :(
Do you have the premium plan? That’s the only way it shows up in 4K and Atmos in the US
Where is the 4K version located? You’d think Paramount + would feature it somewhere. I cannot find the 4K version. Does someone have a link to it?
You need the Paramount Plus premium plan
It is an amazing film in 4K. The remastered music score, the visual effects, everything completely enhance the film. I never thought it was a bad or boring movie to begin with, but, with all the work they put in, this definitely makes it a better film. This is how it should’ve been, and maybe the whole movie franchise would’ve been markedly different.
When V’ger is initially revealed inside the cloud, I had presumed the round honeycomb structure was the front of the vessel as it was headed to Earth. But upon reaching Earth in the Director’s Edition, the orientation appears opposite; the honeycomb structure is treated as the tail end. I wonder how this is accounted for.
It’s not really an issue. It’s as simple as the trajectory the Enterprise follows to enter the cloud ends up at the back of V’Ger. You can see they then go up and traverse the length of V’Ger and end up at the front. The problem is the Theatrical version just never makes that very clear. Have you watched the new Director’s Edition? There’s a new little shot that helps make it a bit clearer where the Enterprise ends up.
I also found this review video of the V’Ger replica from Eaglemoss that matches the model to clips from TMP that might help.
All it would have taken in the theatrical was another screen graphic or two, or an ‘Enterprise pivoting while at warp’ shot (god how I love that shot in TOS) to make absolutely clear that they were turning and then closing from astern. I knew from the novelization that they were seeing the back end of the ship first, but now I’m wondering if that would have been clear if I hadn’t read it. It amazed me to see people 20 years ago who still didn’t realize which end was which on Vger. Did people think that the Enterprise was going warp 7+ in frigging reverse to pass over the ship front-to-back?
I will say to be fair to folks who don’t get V’Ger’s front from back, it is a little confusing. I didn’t have a clear picture of it for years until I saw the concept art somewhere. The Enterprise leaves from Earth to intercept V’Ger which is heading for Earth. So you’d kind of expect them to meet “head on.” Of course when you’re dealing with an unconventional giant ship with a massive energy field around it, it may not really be clear exactly which end is which and it might not even really matter, since it’s like a drifting force of nature slowly moving towards our solar system.
And yes I agree another “tactical plot” type graphic that we saw a couple of times in TMP would have helped.
The reason I suggest an Enterprise pivoting shot is that you could have played it against a CORBOMITE style reveal, where the cloud blows up from a dot to a huge form as the background. That way you’d be able to tell that the E’s approach would be in pursuit. It would be interesting to see some of Abel’s boards to see if this was reflected in the original intent.
Ah yes, I see. That would have been a great shot. The “Corbomite” shot is always awesome to watch.
I watched some of it yesterday and just listened to the “Inglorious Treksperts” guys go off on how unbelievably good that it was.
“Star Trek-TMP” was always visually good. I don’t really understand why there was a need to re-do this or that to make it more visually stimulating. I guess its the same reason why they re-did the effects from the original show. To make it more marketable and to bring in new revenue for Paramount. That part I understand.
But this film never got me, emotionally invested, like I was with “Star Trek II-VI”, so all the tune-up’s and window dressing doesn’t really do a thing for me. I’m impressed. The work is great. It’s just that to me, the other films get you more engaged with the characters and feel more like “Star Trek” than this.