Hober Mallow wrote:
TSFS always felt more like a TV movie to me than a feature. The fact that I first saw it on network TV may possibly have something to do with that perception.
It felt like TV opening day, believe me. And not in the good TFF 'like TOS but widescreen' way either.
I'm amazed at how many people consider it a fun adventure, because the second half of the movie is such an utter grind, between folks dying and ships going semi-kablooey and the Vulcan snoozefest finale ... and NONE of that even gets into the real problems of idiot plotting and such, or how Bennett essentially just recycles whole sequences from TWOK with different outcomes (midfilm battle, refit fires first ... instead of Kirk saying 'you're going to have to bring us up there' for genesis, he is saying 'you're going to have to come down here [or is it vice versa?]).
The cinematographer did what he could with occasional nice colored lighting, but Nimoy just wasn't good with moving the camera at all.
If not for all of Kelley's wonderful work, Shatner's "I hear you" and the alien in the bar, I might not even have re-bought this on blu-ray (then again, the sale price didn't exactly let me pick 5 out of 6 movies anyway.)
EDIT ADDON: I remember Ralph Winter in an issue of ENTERPRISE INCIDENTS explaining that the companies doing the monitor graphics on SFS did them essentially for free to get credit, so that probably contributes to the low-grade look. By way of comparison, that opening shot in TWOK where they pull out from a full-frame Enterprise wireframe ... .that was done using the same ultra-sophisticated megapriced Evans & Sutherland system Abel bought to use on TMP, so we're talking state of the state of the state of the art for the time. Plus a lot of TWOK's graphics (maybe not so many of SFS?) reused the shot-on-film graphics from TMP, which by virtue of not being done on the computer, did not suffer from the 'jaggies' that seemed so dated even in 1984 (i'm thinking of the Spock's casket graphic ... )