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TMP Directors Cut Revisted

rocketscientist

GROUP: Members

POSTS: 10054

Report this Dec. 20 2012, 10:30 am

So, last night around 9:30 the boy 20-month year old twin couldn't sleep.  I recently purchased a new 55'' HD TV (my first, I had a 36 inch SD tube for over a decade) so I put on TMP, the director's cut on.  I figured that would put him to sleep.  


Some random impressions.  Again, I think this is a great, hard sf film in the 2001 A Space Odyssey vein, but it's a lousy ST film.  It still has pacing problems, being a 1 hour story that was stretched over 2 hours.  Also, the characters really are secondary to the story.  V'Ger and the sfx trump characters. 


On the plus side, visually the film is spectacular.  The original SFX still hold up really well and still blow me away.  You really get such a sense of scale when the Enterprise penetrates V'Ger.  The new sfx for the Director's edition are great and improve definitely improve the film.  I love seeing V'Ger in its entirety, the final movement of the Enterprise to V'Ger's beginning, and the wideshots of San Francisco and Vulcan.  The only new digital effect that looked a bit funny was when V'Ger was builiding its bridge out of crystals to the Enterprise.  The moving energy blobs, or whatever they were, didn't seem to move smoothly in that scene.


Also, the new scenes and editing help the film a bit.  I didn't care for the scene of Spock crying for V'Ger (lame), but the scene with Kirk ordering Scotty to ready the Enterprise for self-destruct was a scene that shouldn't have been ommitted (like JJ getting rid of Spock prime's theory that his meeting with Kirk was possibly an indication of the timeline trying to heal itself in STXI or an explanation for where Nero was for over 20 years). 


The exterior of the Enterprise is just great.  The TMP version is my favorite version of the ship ever.  Also it obviously worked for all the subsequent TOS films with their (generally) more Nick Meyer militaristic sensibility. 


The new sets are generally well designed.  The bridge looks very sophisticated for its time, but, now, of course, even it seems dated.  I just think, as Nick Meyer observed, that even with sf you can always pick out when it was made (within 10 years I believe he said).  That's why I'm ok with the reinvisioning of the Enterprise in ST XI.  JJ's right that adhering too closely to the original 60s sets wouldn't have worked.  Heck they really didn't work for TNG and DS9 when they showed the original bridge and the like, but they used them anyway for nostalgia (and note, I'm a huge TOS fan and I love the original bridge, I'm just being objective here).  I do think, though, that the sets did need more color and detail.  They were a bit too staid, imo (although I think you could say the same for the TNG sets actually).  I liked what Meyer had Mike Minor do to them in TWOK, adding thousands of dollars of more lights, the new video monitors, labels, a darker color pallette, and other details.  I think the bridge worked a lot better in TWOK and TSFS because of those changes. 


The uniforms were just terrible.  They were what Robert Wise wanted and Robert Fletcher delivered.  It's ironic that Fletcher also designed the TWOK uniforms at Meyer's request for something more militaristic.  Same guy and two completely different sensibilities regarding the uniforms and sets.  


One thing that definitely should have been changed, something so trivial and so easy to change would have been to change the identity of V'Ger from Voyager 6 to Voyager 1 or 2.  I still do not understand why, even at the time, they made it Voyager 6 when there was never ever going to be a Voyager 6!  Stupid!  Why didn't they use a real probe!  And, after making this stupid mistake, why didn't Robert Wise just fix it in the Director's edition?  It would've been easy to do.  A little ADR from Shatner and a bit of CGI to make Kirk say "2" instead of "6" and its done.  Was it because of cost?  Did they think of it and Shatner wanted too much money?  If so, wouldn't there have been a way to swipe a "2" from something else he did for ST? 


Anyway, the film did indeed put the kid asleep.  That said, he woke up last night.  His mom thought he had a nightmare, and I wonder if it was just from the bizarre V'ger images.  It's essentially a rated G film, but it was probably a bad idea to show it to him.  I didn't intend or want to freak the kid out. 


 


  

Vger23

GROUP: Members

POSTS: 6799

Report this Dec. 20 2012, 3:30 pm

Wow...what an amazing coincidence! Not only are you an "old friend" from this message board...but I literally JUST got finished watching this film, and logged in to post some thoguhts of my own! I've been home sick with strep throat, and needed a Trek fix, and for some reason I really wanted to get into TMP: The Directors Cut. I struggle at times because I own the BluRay, and the picture quality is far and away the best of any of the first 6 Trek films...I mean truly stunning...but the theatrical version is less desirable than this directors cut...so I always have a hard time deciding what to watch.


 


So, here's some of my thoughts and observations.


 


First, the film is visually phenomanal. The upgrades in SFX, for the most part, are seamless. The cinemetography has a more grand and cinematic feel to it than any of the other Trek films. It's a slick looking picture. I love the added starfield for the "overture" and the opening credits as well.


The soundrack may be one of my favorites not just in Trek history...but in movie history. This really is Goldsmith's crown jewel. The music is epic and awe-inspiring and really gives this film the feel of a major motion picture event. 


I think the re-done sound mix is a huge improvement. Added "whooshes" and "zooms" to some of the outerspace shots, for example...or "beeps" when characters touch controls where those noises weren't there before. The background hum on the bridge...all these things are subtle but really improve the realistic quality of the film. I actually miss the computer voice from the theatrical version, and I wish they had kept that in. I know most found it annoying, but I thought it was cool. 


I think, for the most part, the re-editing was a vast improvement. It tightens up scenes that were otherwise long drawn-out. There are some places I was disappointed in however. I think cutting Kirk's "Oh my god" line was a mistake. I also dislike the cutting (or perhaps exclusion of...depending on what version we are talking about...TV or theatrical) of Decker's line about "of course...we all create God in our own image," because I think that declaration was essential to one of the central themes of the film. In fact, as many know, the original script upon which the film was based was titled "In Thy Image." 


I've talked about the story many times before, so I'll be brief. But, ultimately, I really believe this is a better Trek story than most people give credit for. The characters a wooden and out-of-sorts, but that's intentionally part of the journey. Kirk starts off out of his element and sort of a "man alone." Spock is over-compensating for his failure to obtain the Kolinahr, and starts off "barren and cold," but eventually finds his way back. Ultimately, this is a Spock story. It is about Spock really coming to terms with the conflict that has existed inside him for his entire life.  His experience with V'Ger shines a light on him and helps him understand how to integrate both important pieces of who he is into his life. Kirk's story is secondary, but also an interesting arc for that character, as we see a man who has lost his great love (command of the Enterprise) and needs to modulate himself in his obsession to get that back.


Ultimately, TMP: Directors Cut is a fine film, and generally a significant improvement over the Theatrical Cut, which was little more than a work print. I think it's an underrated film...not a perfect one...but one that gets a bad rap and really is not nearly as bad as some would say. 


 


 


Rocketscientist, congrats on the new TV man!


 



 

rocketscientist

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POSTS: 10054

Report this Dec. 20 2012, 4:34 pm

Great observations V'Ger!  Yeah, I forgot to comment on the new sound edits.  I agree with you, they improved the film as well. 


I also agree that Kirk and Spock definitely had arcs in this film.  That said, I just think both their arcs were pretty much overwhelmed by V'Ger and a lack of enough scenes for good drama, something all the cast members commented on. 


And, again, I really really don't like the pajama uniforms. 


Sorry to hear about the strep. I'm am finishing getting over back to back colds that started the day after Thanksgiving.  I had a horrible ongoing cough and still have a bit of junk in my lungs, so I know how you feel.  Take it easy and feel better!


How's your boy?  How old is he?  Am I right that he's around 13 or 14 months now?


 


 


 

Blockman

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POSTS: 520

Report this Dec. 20 2012, 5:59 pm

Always good stuff RS


Flanaess

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POSTS: 24

Report this Apr. 03 2013, 5:39 pm

I watched TMP on a Region 2 disc, from the big box set.


 


It was awesome! It's such a great film.


 


Does the region 1 have the very cool Starfleet briefings in the bonus?


Those are wonderful.


Why does Starfleet like to change the location of the weapons station?


I really like the Klingon weapons (torpedo) stations that rotate! (like in the Dune movie)


Moving bridge chair/monitor tech is really cool!


 


 

Kornula

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POSTS: 1676

Report this Apr. 06 2013, 12:52 am

The Veg'er 6 thing does not bother me at all.   Heck, the Eugenics War, led by Khan was supposed to have ended by 1996.   Its an alternate world/time line.  Meh


 


Otherwise, the directors cut does have a heightend sense of dramtic tension.  The pacing is a bit faster.. though the fillm is still slow.  It is fantastic on a huge 100 Foot movie screen. 

2takesfrakes

GROUP: Members

POSTS: 3683

Report this Apr. 07 2013, 4:37 pm

STAR TREK: The Motion Picture
is to the movie series what
THE CAGE was to the television
series ...


Start with Roddenberry being given
a lot of money to start a pet project,
then "going ape" with it. Followed by
the initial project providing the sets
that would be used and reused continuously.
Then the ambition of trying to tell a story
that transcended the medium.


And I thought TMP had the best "uniforms" the franchise
has EVER had! TMP is nothing if not yummy Eye Candy ...
even the aging cast was made to photograph great!


Kornula

GROUP: Members

POSTS: 1676

Report this Apr. 08 2013, 2:00 am

[quote]


STAR TREK: The Motion Picture
is to the movie series what
THE CAGE was to the television
series ...


Start with Roddenberry being given
a lot of money to start a pet project,
then "going ape" with it. Followed by
the initial project providing the sets
that would be used and reused continuously.
Then the ambition of trying to tell a story
that transcended the medium.


And I thought TMP had the best "uniforms" the franchise
has EVER had! TMP is nothing if not yummy Eye Candy ...
even the aging cast was made to photograph great!


[/quote]


You really liked the ugly pajamas??


 


 


...really?

2takesfrakes

GROUP: Members

POSTS: 3683

Report this Apr. 08 2013, 2:22 am

Yes, I think the motion picture uniforms are a
very cool design - and as a logical progression
from the costumes used in the television series.


You may also recall that there was more than just
the one, standard, grey "uniform." There was some
versatility in that they could be mixed and matched
with other variations shown - like the white V-neck
with the various coloured slacks. I liked how the belt
and shoes were incorporated into the costumes, also.


Even J.J. Abrams liked the Admiral's uniform from
this movie ... and used it for his reboot.


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