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Star Trek: The Motion Picture Review

Posted by Kragghle , in Reviews, Movies Dec 27 2012 · 210 views

Star Trek sci-fi

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:kaukau: From the way fans describe this movie, you could almost swear the director was a Wal*Mart greeter.  Fans of Star Trek love to rant about which movies they hate, and this is usually near the top of the list.  I don't know: from what I remember of The Journey Home, I actually prefer this.  It has its charm, and something to fall in love with, although it's definitely not one of the best ones out there.
 
It's primary fault is that it feels more like an extended episode with a high budget.  Chief among these problems is that the majority of the film is spend inside the bridge of the Enterprise, which means that the movie doesnt' have as much flexibility and sense of journey as it ought to have.  Of course, not every camera angle is frmo within the main set.  There are plenty of scenes that remind me of 2001: A Space Odyssey as it takes forever for Kirk and Scotty to dock the Enterprise, among other drawn-out moments.  The movie actually has great special effects for the day, and clearly a higher budget than its legendary sequel.  V-GER's design was spectacular and had a distinct, wondrous feel that reminded me of science fiction movies when I was just a kid, something modern films can't really recapture.  It just might make people nostalgic.
 
Of course, once you find out what V-GER is, it isn't too hard to find out newcomer Captain Decker's plot purpose is.  He's a red shirt, just without the red shirt.  So was Ilea.  They weren't any different than the typical guest character for an episode.  The ending likewise felt like a normal episode once their personal journeys were complete.  Kirk, Spock, and Bones remain unchanged, frustrating fans who might have wanted to see just a little more from them.
 
Overall, however, between the spectacular attempt to clean and polish up the world of Star Trek, thus keeping up with its optimistic philosophy, through new costumes, sets, special effects, and - most importantly - music, and that this still would have made a brilliant final episode for the series, I think it adequately bridges the television show with the solemn movies that came afterword, and it was a worthy experience.  While it didn't achieve greatness, it was good first movie for this franchise.
 

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Engineer Alexandra Humva
Dec 27 2012 03:41 PM

A minor quibble, you said The Journey Home, I believe you mean The Voyage Home. :P

 

I think the movie's biggest shortcoming was its pacing. I apologize if I repeat too much of one of my favorite internet reviewers here (SF Debris), but the movie feels like an episode expanded into a movie... without anything to fill in the space. If you took out the sheer amount of fluff and padding you could very easily fit it into a 45 minute episode without losing anything of importance.

 

Now, comparisons to 2001 are bound to be made, but there's a difference. When I was younger I hated 2001 because it dragged on. The first hour was monkeys for crying out loud. The space walk scene was terrible in my mind because it just took so bloody long. As I've grown older and can now sit in front of a screen without explosions every two seconds, I can appreciate them from a more artistic point of view, though I still think it's a bit gratuitous at times.

 

What I think though, and I'd like to remind everyone this is my opinion, not me trying to state definitive facts, is that 2001 is more artistic than The Motion Picture. With 2001 you had these novel concepts, but they (most of the time) didn't drag on. You'd get bits and pieces, things always being changed up. With The Motion picture we get an excruciating five minutes of credits overlaid on stars. No dialogue, no interesting visuals, just stars. It's like star gazing but instead of sitting on your back marveling at the universe you're sitting in a movie theatre or in your room, wondering why the **** you're paying for this. And then we get that scene where they're admiring the Enterprise. We've seen it before, producers, move along.

 

I suppose my issue with it ultimately is that to me, the movie had a wonderful premise for the TV show. It really, really, does feel like as you said a finale to the TV series. And in my head I can see the directors and the producers scrambling around, looking for an idea for a movie, then pulling out a script for an episode and saying "let's toss in an hour and a half of pointless visuals!"

 

Of course, that's not what happened, rather a different sort of executive meddling, but it still feels like that.

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We here in my family call it "The Motionless Picture" dur to its insanely slow pace. :P

That said, I don't dislike it at all. I too love the classic feel it has, and the amazing suspense while they fly into V-GER.

also, though, The Voyage Home is one of my favourite movies ever, and as far as I was aware it is considered a classic. Really though there's no star trek movie I dislike.
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Why do people not like The Voyage Home? I love that movie.
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Princess Grr
Feb 24 2013 09:22 PM
Why do people not like The Voyage Home? I love that movie.

 

The Voyage Home is easily the most fun of all the Star Trek films.  Some uptight folks don't like the lighthearted tone or the oblique environmental-protection theme.  These people are known as "absolutely no fun at all."

 

The Motion Picture is very dull - it's not an offensively-bad film so much as it simply leaves you wondering why you wasted two hours on it (especially since it just rehashes the plot of one of the second-season episodes of the TV series).  Now if we want to talk about truly awful Star Trek films, we've gotta bring up The Final Frontier...

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