how big an improvement is the star trek motion picture director cut?

Discussion in 'Star Trek Movies I-X' started by tmosler, Oct 15, 2012.

  1. Pauln6

    Pauln6 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Re: how big an improvement is the star trek motion picture director cu

    I would definitely buy a hybrid version of the DE with improved special effects and shorter face shots plus any missing scenes and dialogue from the SLV.
     
  2. RyanKCR

    RyanKCR Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: how big an improvement is the star trek motion picture director cu

    That would be my hybrid version I would want but using the sound mix from the SLV.
     
  3. Basill

    Basill Captain Captain

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    Re: how big an improvement is the star trek motion picture director cu

    Totally agreed.
     
  4. Oso Blanco

    Oso Blanco Commodore Commodore

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    Re: how big an improvement is the star trek motion picture director cu

    I never liked the DE, I just cannot accept new fx being done for a movie some twenty years after it's release.

    I'm happy that the theatrical cut has finally been released on DVD and even BD, although I think that the SLV is the best version ... except for the airlock soundstage and the wrong space suit, but I'd take those glitches over the DE anytime!
     
  5. Grant

    Grant Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Re: how big an improvement is the star trek motion picture director cu


    Well, that's what I was getting at about changing things. But if a person were to be seeing the movie for the first time--which do you think they would prefer?

    I don't mean a 'young' person--I mean a person of any age who had never seen the movie before.

    I believe they would prefer the DE because of the flow/pacing without the established feelings people like us have from the past.
     
  6. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Re: how big an improvement is the star trek motion picture director cu

    Honestly, I don't think a person today would like any version. People have been conditioned to expect certain things from sci-fi films and I don't think TMP, in any form, has those things.
     
  7. Grant

    Grant Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Re: how big an improvement is the star trek motion picture director cu

    ^^^

    I agree, that's why I specifically avoided saying a young person--because 98% would never have the patience to sit thru it!

    I'd be interested in knowing about somebody who was a mature general sci-fi fan who had seen the movie back in the day and not seen it since who could view both versions and pick their preferred--what would it be?


    It's because I am so bored by the movie in general that I have no problem simply saying the DE the best.

    If someone is a huge fan of the movie BEFORE the DE came out--I can see where changing it would be wrong in their view.
     
  8. Ian Keldon

    Ian Keldon Fleet Captain

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    Re: how big an improvement is the star trek motion picture director cu

    If they had just kept the McCoy/Kirk "discussion" in the DE it would have been just about perfect, IMO.
     
  9. 22 Stars

    22 Stars Commodore Commodore

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    Re: how big an improvement is the star trek motion picture director cu

    DE FTW. It is a great effort, and I just wish it was available in HD on Bluray
     
  10. mos6507

    mos6507 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Re: how big an improvement is the star trek motion picture director cu

    That's what I think improves its legacy over time. Khan was the crowd-pleaser, and that's fine and all, but TMP actually challenged the audience to slow down and think about things. It is unique even within Trek films. Consider how far things had fallen, intellectually, by the time Kirk said "What does God need with a starship?", let alone the banalities of the 2009 film.

    To me, it's worst sin was how Kirk was presented with sort of a borderline personality disorder. It made sense within his character arc to give him an inner-conflict, but it was not satisfying to watch him be so uptight after years of wanting to see the band get back together. The best scene in the film is Spock and Kirk holding hands in sick bay for that reason, as it is a vital point of contrast.

    I think after the TOS and TNG remasters they should go back one more time and redo TMP with HD effects and offer a branching blu-ray. In a home-theater environment pacing is not as much of an issue. Most people opt for longer edits rather than shorter ones (LOTR EE and Avatar come to mind).
     
  11. marksound

    marksound Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Re: how big an improvement is the star trek motion picture director cu

    Maybe a laugh track would help.
     
  12. Maurice

    Maurice Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: how big an improvement is the star trek motion picture director cu

    Kirk didn't want "to see the band get back together." He "used this emergency to get the Enterprise back." That's all he wanted: to command a starship again. Sure, he drafted Bones, who promptly called him on his shit. Then he got Spock, who gave him the cold shoulder. He's perfectly in character throughout.
     
  13. gottacook

    gottacook Commander Red Shirt

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    Re: how big an improvement is the star trek motion picture director cu

    Sure, but that's the trouble - of course Kirk would take advantage of the emergency to regain command of the Enterprise, else there'd be no movie! That is to say, any possible screenplay for a TMP written some years after the end of the TV series would (almost by definition) have to focus on an emergency situation that gets the gang back together, with ol' Jim in command.

    The problem with any of the present versions of TMP is that it's just so rote in this respect. Any mechanism, no matter how inventive and enterprising, for getting the crew back together on their starship would in retrospect seem unexciting, the "deaths" of the guest stars notwithstanding (and irrespective of whether Vulcan has a moon).
     
  14. Grant

    Grant Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Re: how big an improvement is the star trek motion picture director cu


    perhaps, but not the character anybody wanted to see.
     
  15. Maurice

    Maurice Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: how big an improvement is the star trek motion picture director cu

    I simply pointed out that mos6507 was incorrect about Kirk wanting "to see the band get back together." That you both think it was the wrong dramatic decision has no bearing on whether Kirk was acting in character given the story setup.
     
  16. mos6507

    mos6507 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Re: how big an improvement is the star trek motion picture director cu

    I think within the context of the themes of TMP that a cold and distant Kirk makes sense, but it was just unsatisfying for Trek fans to endure.

    The scene in sickbay helps validate Kirk acting the way he did, as it was somewhat of a role-reversal. Spock arrives on the Enterprise and brushes aside the pleasantries, but in sickbay it's Spock who reaches for Kirk's hand and tells him that V'Ger does not understand the concept of love (in any form, platonic or otherwise), and Spock does, whether he chooses to embrace it or not. There's a lesson for Kirk to learn too.

    That scene is remarkable because Spock openly laughs. He shows more positive emotion in that scene than Kirk does in the whole movie. This was clearly intentional.

    So I think by the end, not only Spock has become a softer character, but Kirk too, symbolized by the way he winks at the end.

    It's just that presenting Spock as cold and distant is in-keeping with audience expectations. Presenting Kirk as cold towards his veteran crew is not, and it's not very satisfying to see him act this way after a 10 year gap of Trek. It's maybe okay for modern audiences to see him act this way, knowing that he softens later, but that's a whole different phenomenon.

    In Trek II, Kirk is suffering from the same problem he did in TMP, the lack of the Enterprise. But instead of being obnoxious to everyone around him, Kirk keeps it inward, having quiet heart-to-hearts with Bones about being over-the-hill. This approach was more satisfying. The playful side of Kirk is best typified when he gives his inspection of the Enterprise, and cuts it short with the silently lipsynced word "Later..." Kirk is disturbed by Saavik taking the Enterprise out, but does not rush forward and pull rank in order to stop it. He's just not so damn uptight and micromanagerial the way he was in TMP.

    The character of Kirk evolved further by the time you get to Search for Spock. Remember the dialogue Kirk gives to the crew right before they depart? He prefaces it with "My friends..." Search for Spock is the complete opposite of TMP. It is the renunciation of ego. It's all about sacrifice for friendship, up to and including the Enterprise itself, the object of desire that Kirk fought so hard to reclaim.

    If TMP had been the only Trek film, it would have been disappointing. Only within the context of them all can you rationalize it as being part of larger character arcs.

    The stewards of the Trek franchise at the time, Gene and company, for whatever reason, chose not to venerate Kirk's iconic heroism in TMP, but rather chose to present him as a much more flawed and unsympathetic character than any of us would prefer to see. No matter which edit you want to watch, that flawed vision of Kirk is going to be there.
     
  17. J.T.B.

    J.T.B. Rear Admiral Premium Member

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    Re: how big an improvement is the star trek motion picture director cu

    That's applying hindsight after thirty years of Trek "franchise" movies, series and other media, other science fiction successes, the changing face of Hollywood filmmaking and on and on. Not to mention thirty years of largely negative fan reaction to TMP. The world was a very different place when TMP was made. There were three seasons of the Star Trek series which you could catch in varying order depending on your local TV station. And 22 episodes of a "Saturday morning cartoon," as most people thought of it. The series episodes were all over the map, from action to drama to comedic.

    The decision was made to make TMP more of a drama, more of a science fiction parable, which had been a reasonably successful approach for science fiction movies. Yes, Star Wars had been a huge success with a lot of action, but "Close Encounters" had also been a huge success as more of a character-based movie. The action-blockbuster template had not taken over Hollywood at the time, and plenty of serious dramatic films did well in the '70s.

    The decision was also made to give the Kirk and Spock characters inner conflicts which may have made them seem removed from the TV version of the characters for some viewers. People may not agree with that choice, but it was a perfectly valid choice. The segment of the audience with strong opinions on how Kirk or Spock "should" act was very small, and if they were the only ones the film appealed to, it would have flopped. TMP was approached as a stand-alone feature with some big ambitions, and no one knew if there would ever be another Star Trek feature film. One can argue that the execution did not live up to those ambitions, and on may counts I agree. But to argue that there was some readily-understood quintessence of Trek in 1979, which TMP violated in some way, doesn't really apply to the context in which the filmmakers made the choices they made. And they made a film that was ultimately successful by most standards.

    Justin
     
  18. gottacook

    gottacook Commander Red Shirt

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    Re: how big an improvement is the star trek motion picture director cu

    There's a great deal I agree with here, but I'm not sure Kirk was provided with much of an "inner conflict" to be resolved. (Spock had one, sure, but it was just a development of the same inner conflict he had on the TV series, now formalized and made into a Vulcan rite.)

    In Kirk's case, moreover, the script has him simply taking over and then alternating between making bad decisions (the wormhole scene) and making none at all. For the whole last half of the film, he's really rather passive: He has nothing to do with Spock's decision to go EVA and learn the vital information about V'ger's nature, nor with Decker's decision to resolve the plot and dissipate V'ger's threat to Earth by coding the final sequence by hand. What good is a Kirk (or any starship captain) who doesn't make the key decisions?

    [I remember the Trek drought of the mid-1970s very well. At one point in 1975 or so, Star Trek existed only as an anti-drug abuse radio ad featuring Kirk, Spock, and Uhura that I would hear periodically (www.youtube.com/watch?v=sAwfmpt2T-g), presumably recorded during production of the animated series; there was no generally known prospect of any future Trek productions. I don't think I learned about Phase II until after it became the pre-production phase of TMP. I remember being excited about the early magazine ad with the "23rd century odyssey now" tag line (http://i31.tinypic.com/2rcx6hg.jpg) in which the writing credit was "Screenplay by Gene Roddenberry and Harold Livingston" - I've never seen an early ad for a movie that had such a drastic difference in writing credits from the released film. Has any thread here addressed this?]
     
  19. mos6507

    mos6507 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Re: how big an improvement is the star trek motion picture director cu

    Kirk rushing the Enterprise arguably led to the transporter accident.

    I agree with you that Spock really is the protagonist, though, and Kirk is more of a supporting actor. Spock is the character who makes all the breakthroughs in understanding V'Ger. Everyone else just reacts to this.

    The closest Kirk comes to steering the plot is his verbal sparring with the Ilia probe. Kirk merely uses the insights gained from Spock to decide how to communicate to V'Ger.

    TMP really is not an ensemble movie the way Trek should be. I read a recent review of TMP not that long ago that mourned how Spock supplanted Uhura. Uhura could have figured out how to communicate with V'Ger. Uhura also could have figured out the whale-song in Trek IV. After all, she's a communication's officer, right? Shouldn't she know how to do more than merely open and close communication? Shouldn't she know something about language and data encoding and things like that?

    Same with Kirk. Kirk could have been given more opportunities to show his unique leadership abilities. He certainly "cheated death" in Trek II.

    The novelization of TMP supposedly goes into more back-story on Kirk's subconscious anguish over not steering a Starship and how it made him kind of an A-hole. The novelization posits that McCoy quit starfleet when Kirk accepted promotion as an act of protest. Certainly Decker's dialogue points towards Kirk's dysfunctional personality, but there's more to it in the novelization that didn't get filmed.
     
  20. J.T.B.

    J.T.B. Rear Admiral Premium Member

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    Re: how big an improvement is the star trek motion picture director cu

    Fair point, like a lot of aspects of TMP it becomes somewhat muddled in the execution. It did seem to be the intent, though, that Kirk would have some "issues." In his "character sketches" for the movie Roddenberry wrote Kirk is "obsessed to regain the Enterprise, and it may well cloud his judgment. ... In the midst of his drive is also a degree of self doubt. Is it the self-doubt, in fact, that fires the need to command?" And "With the two most important members of the mission in emotional turmoil, it falls to McCoy to hold them together." (The Making Of Star Trek: The Motion Picture)

    Justin