This is the best Star Trek: The Motion Picture has ever looked or sounded, including its original theatrical release 40+ years ago. With all the editing tweaks, FX upgrades and restorations applied to it over the years - capped by a gorgeous 4K UHD overhaul done just this year - it almost plays like a different film from the historically maligned version many of us grew up with.
As someone who did see it when it premiered in theaters back in ’79, my overall positive assessment of the movie itself is somewhat tainted by no small amount of sentimentality. My mother took me to see this during Christmas vacation and it was her idea, which sort of surprised me. I was at that age when we weren’t really communicating all that much (no major problems…just me being a teenager) and had no idea she was a closet Trekkie, which was sort of a revelation. Dad’s general contempt for all things sci-fi precluded talking him into going, so seeing Star Trek: The Motion Picture in a theater ended up being one of my last purely Mom & son outings before “outgrowing” such things. Since she's no longer with us, perhaps that’s part of the reason I carry more of a nostalgic torch for this Trek than subsequent ones.
|"They're all out to get you, Jim...just like you always suspected."
But over the years, a lot of those warts were removed. It’s no secret that Star Trek: The Motion Picture was a troubled production and rushed into theaters before it was really complete (a fascinating tale in its own right) and director Robert Wise was allowed to revise the film in 2001, which included fixing many of the pacing and special effects issues. Even further upgrades were made 20 years later for its 4K restoration. Nothing can be done about the dialogue or performances, nor will I refute the long-standing criticism that the iconic cast was simply dropped into a story that could just as easily exist without them. However, unlike the unwelcome and distracting changes George Lucas made to Star Wars, the Director’s Edition seamlessly blends old and new to create a better film…perhaps a new one that just happened to take 40 years to finish.
Regardless of one’s opinion of the movie itself, it looks and sounds stunning in 4K. While the original 1979 version was released in 4K just last year as part of a boxed set, this 2-disc set is still worth picking up. Not only is the 2022 version a considerable improvement, the story behind it is just as entertaining and this release includes a big batch of all-new bonus features to go along with vintage material carried over from previous discs. A must own for fans, this is one of the best home video releases of the year. Mom would've loved it.
4K UHD FEATURES:
2 AUDIO COMMENTARIES - 1) A new commentary by David C. Fein, Mike Matessino and Daren Dochterman; 2) Vintage commentary director Robert Wise, FX artists Douglas Trumbull & John Dyhstra, composer Jerry Goldsmith and actor Stephen Collins.
TEXT COMMENTARY - By Michael & Denise Okuda.
NEW BLU-RAY FEATURES:
“THE HUMAN ADVENTURE” - An all-new 50-minute, 9-part documentary, mostly featuring individuals involved with the 2022 4K restoration, who share personal insights & views on the film and its creators, as well as the process of updating the look and sound. Great stuff, with plenty of side-by-side scene comparisons.
SPECIAL EFFECTS TESTS
COMPUTER DISPLAY GRAPHICS - A closer look at the individually animated images used for the scenes on the bridge.
LEGACY BLU-RAY FEATURES:
“THE STAR TREK UNIVERSE” (FEATURETTES) - “Phase II: The Lost Enterprise” (the aborted Star Trek Phase II series); “A Bold New Enterprise”; “Redirecting the Future”; “The Longest Trek: Writing The Motion Picture”; “Special Star Trek Reunion”; “Starfleet Academy SCISEC Brief 001: V’Ger” (fictionalized historical summary of the Voyager program); “The New Frontier: Resurrecting Star Trek”; “Maiden Voyage: Making Star Trek: The Motion Picture.”
ADDITIONAL SCENES - 1979 Theatrical version
DELETED SCENES - 1983 TV version
TRAILERS & TV SPOTS