Directors cut

Discussion in 'Star Trek Movies I-X' started by Bigjoe, Nov 29, 2018.

  1. Maurice

    Maurice Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Ohhh, ignorantly animating "on twos" for the V'ger bridge building part (no one does effects animation on twos), totally redesigning San Francisco from how it was intended and originally presented to retcon it consistent with later movies, ripping part of a wall out of the Air Tram station to put a goddamned TOS shuttle in, changing 82 AUs to 2 AUs because reasons, breaking the otherwise perfectly consistent directional continuity of the Enterprise in their new asteroid explosion shot, and adding a lower-third text for San Francisco which is utterly unnecessary and inconsistent with the rest of the film which features precisely none of them. I'll stop now.
     
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  2. Hey Missy

    Hey Missy Captain Captain

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    I can't necessarily comment on some of those other nitpicks, but changing the dialogue to say V'Ger's cloud is 2 AUS vs. 82 AUs makes sense to me - 82 AUs is more than the diameter of our entire solar system, which is pretty far-fetched even for such an impressive starship which generates its own gravity field. They probably went with 82 in 1979 as "2 (technobabbles)" didn't sound impressive enough for a casual audience.
     
  3. Maurice

    Maurice Vice Admiral Admiral

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    They went with 82 AUs precisely because it was the size of the solar system. And since the general audiences have no clue what an A.U. is, it was a meaningless fannish change. 2 anythings doesn't sound as impressive as 82. "I ate two cookies" v. "I ate 82 cookies". :D
     
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2018
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  4. Lance

    Lance Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Wise was involved in the so-called Director's Edition, but not as intimately as some assume. He wasn't personally asked to reassemble his intended version. In fact, Wise's intended version allegedly would have been more brutal and cut down than either the theatrical cut or the DE. What the DE actually is, is a compromise between the theatrical version, the ABC edit (the so-called 'special longer version), and Wise's notes about how he'd have liked to finish off the movie. Wise was complimentary at the time of the work done on the DE, but the work itself was, at least in large part, not Wise's. Most of it in fact were precursors of the kind of thing that TOS-Remastered would do, changes on matte paintings and the occasional CGI spaceship, but nothing close to as different from the theatrical version as its often made out to be. Nor, indeed, as different as Wise himself likely would have done it.
     
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  5. Maurice

    Maurice Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Yep. The DE is longer than the theatrical cut, but in 1980 Wise said he could easily cut the film by "six minutes" at least. Having read some of the specific cuts he mentioned my heart sunk watching the DE because I realized so much of what changed were fannish rather than cinematic concerns. This isn't to say there aren't some good adjustments and changes in there, but where they chose to put their efforts—like changing San Francisco, which barely needed any attention—or reverting to earlier designs after they were rejected—like Vulcan, mess that is was in the theatrical cut—when other things in the film really needed addressing, is what sticks in my craw.
     
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  6. Kor

    Kor Admiral Admiral

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    Judging by Robert Wise's age and condition of health at the time, I've always doubted that he had a whole lot of personal involvement in the project. It seemed more like Fein, Matessino, Dochterman, et al's baby, with certain arbitrary changes made according to their preferences.

    Kor
     
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  7. Jeyl

    Jeyl Commodore Commodore

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    He did on-camera interviews, took part in the commentary (Which he was cool enough to point out Star Trek trivia!), was part of the publicity, did interviews with other websites, wrote a little note for the DVD paper insert ect. If this is your idea of small involvement, I'd LOVE to know what a huge involvement would look like!
     
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  8. MakeshiftPython

    MakeshiftPython Commodore Commodore

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    To me the DE is preferable just for Spock’s teary scene alone, but it still has issues like that completely unnecessary tour of the Enterprise. I get the feeling they wanted to aim for 2001: A Space Odyssey in some respects, but TMP is no where close. I don’t even think Robert Wise was ever up to the task, and I intensely dislike the sterile look he gave it with the color palette with all those pastels. For a movie that tries to present itself as some grand event complete with an overture and a stuffy subtitle “The Motion Picture”, it feels more like a pretentious fart.
     
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  9. Lance

    Lance Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    A pretentious fart is, at least, over somewhat quickly. The Motion Picture lingers in space after letting one go, as though expecting one to admire the after-smell and comment on the pique and volume :D ;)
     
  10. Lance

    Lance Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    In all seriousness, as @Maurice rightly points out, Wise went on record as saying his prefered cut would've been more ruthless in taking out scenes like the Enterprise runaround (which this so-called "director's cut" retains) etc. DE's are not always about simply presenting all the missing bits back in the movie... if you want that then the SLV is for you :D But as presenting alternative versions of the story being told. The thing is, Wise would never have been allowed to go as far as he'd like, because at the end of the day it's Paramount who is holding the power. Same for Nick Meyer. He's repeatedly said on record that he *hates* that final scene with Spock's coffin on Genesis and in his 'cut' it wasn't there, but we'll never see a version of the movie that doesn't include it even though Meyer himself to this day feels like it was a cheap trick and would prefer his original ending. Sometimes, Director's Cuts are not really the cut the director wanted, but simply a compromise between that and what we ultimately got. The TMP DE certainly falls into the compromise territory.
     
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  11. Smellmet

    Smellmet Commodore Commodore

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    I would never want to see a version of TMP without the enterprise flyby. It's one of my favourite scenes in the entire franchise, never mind the film. Though I do concede that a non-fan would be like WTF when they watch it.
     
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  12. Cutie McWhiskers

    Cutie McWhiskers Commodore Commodore

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    Theatrical edition or the TV version with all the extra footage, even bits where background sets were incomplete, for me. Going back to tinker and affects can be hit or miss, which is as much in the eye of the viewer as it is the eye of the people making the changes and those don't always match up. Sound effects went from boisterous klaxons that command attention to wimpy puny noises that sounded like a drunken rat choking on a piece of cheese that command boisterous laughter instead. Of all the Klingon scenes to cut, the editing for the three ships being digitized/disintegrated was extremely choppy. And yet they kept "Klingon cruiser Amar" as spoken by Starfleet as if they're all good friends all of a sudden wasn't deleted? My memory's a bit hazy... I did like some of the new exterior shots to add reference points, and - especially - the exterior for V'ger as that was sorely missing from the original (the fracas for f/x development causing enough problems... :( the f/x shown are fantastic so it's a shame they didn't get to do the exterior V'ger shots...)

    Taking this a step further and in a weird direction the way I'm wont to do, would you take the Mona Lisa and draw into the background a colonized Martian backdrop the way an artist from 1950 might see it with oblong domes and all? Or rainbows coming out of three unicorns, proportionally placed to keep the rule of thirds intact. How about penciling in some eyebrows? Followed up with a beard and tail and glowing indigo eyes because it'll look even more artistic and engaging? Maybe it would. Maybe not. Why not just make a copy and change the copy but leave the original archive untouched for historical purposes and what it represents of its time because time and attitudes change and develop over time. After all, what was the underlying reason for daVinci not putting in eyebrows? Creativity? Trying to invigorate a new style for the shaving industry? Did he run out of paint? Did he run out of time, he was commissioned to paint a portrait of Francesco del Giocondo's wife and maybe he did the lack of eyebrows and smirk as a subtle joke because he was encouraged to do it from someone? Anyone have a time machine, it'd be fun to find out what really happened way back when. Until then, moose and squirrel will have to do.

    But back to Star Trek in 1979:

    No home video recording exists. The 1966-69 show was repeated often and by 1977 looked very cheap. The original Phase II TV sets were rightly discarded for the 1979 movie because they wouldn't have begun to have worked. A ton of money went into gorgeous sets for interiors and exteriors, and it shows. Why not showcase it?

    Fans would love it, it does look sumptuous - a feast for the eyes (and every other cliche scribbled onto paper via pen). It is more a tribute to TOS, not because it's a (somewhat refined) mishmash of a few TOS episode plot elements, the execution of the elements is put to the side in favor of lengthy visuals.

    (But TMP's actual plot is far lighter than the model of the new Enterprise - never base a movie solely on glossy f/x. But I wasn't much of a fan of the first Star Wars movie either, whose plot manages to be much thinner.)

    The fanbase was hyped up to see anything with the Star Trek name on it and the step-up in visual quality, thanks to Star Wars, tied them over. Had the visuals not been impressive, not to mention fan interest in Trek in the late-70s (much like disco music) would not remain forever, there would never have been a Star Trek II.

    Thankfully the people they brought in - who were not fans but sat through all 79 episodes to get a proper feel for what made Trek unique - came up with a way to more solidly reinvigorate and add genuine substance back into the franchise.

    In other words, I'll sit through them all, like bits and pieces of changed editions, but prefer what was originally made. Then again, the extended version had more scenes of characters doing stuff and not camera pans of giant aluminum models.
     
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  13. Maurice

    Maurice Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Wise never intended to cut as in delete the Enterprise flyaround, be said it was a minute and a half too long. He wanted to shorten not excise it.

    I don't entirely buy the argument that they could not cut the film properly because the VFX were so late. There are many scenes which are mostly on the actors that could have been tightened up just by "letting the air out" even as the opticals were coming in.
     
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  14. Maurice

    Maurice Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I also want to add that in the DE Commentary Wise really sounds like he's reading from a script. @Ryan Thomas Riddle saw him at a panel at SD Comicon—I believe—where he was reading from prepared statements and didn't do Q&A. I find it hard to believe Wise would know any Trek trivia.
     
  15. Ryan Thomas Riddle

    Ryan Thomas Riddle Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Can confirm. He read from prepared cards. The remastering team fielded the Q&A questions.
     
  16. Jeyl

    Jeyl Commodore Commodore

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    And that diminishes his contributions... how? He's putting his time into it and script or no, he seems into it. Heck, given how notorious the film's reputation was and how long it's been since he had made it, I'm surprised we got anything at all! Before the Director's Edition, I thought the odds of a Special Edition of TMP was as likely as David Lynch producing a new cut of Dune while also taking part in the special features for it.

    Call his contributions whatever you want. Scripted, rehearsed, or even fake. I still enjoyed seeing him talk about Star Trek.
     
  17. Maurice

    Maurice Vice Admiral Admiral

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    It simply means that the level of Wise's actual involvement can fairly be questioned. For some the distinction between changes originating with Wise and those merely approved by him may seem insignificant, but to some of us it has a lot of bearing as to how to close to something promoted as "original vision" actually hews to to that or fails to deliver on that promise.
     
  18. MakeshiftPython

    MakeshiftPython Commodore Commodore

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    Whether it’s his “original vision” or not doesn’t really matter to me so long as the cut plays better, which for me it does. A few years ago RAISING CAIN got a fan edit online which was actually using the original script as the basis for how the sequence of events played in the first half which was different from the theatrical. Brian De Palma liked it a lot that it ended up getting a blu-ray release labeled “director’s cut”, despite De Palma never having been involved in the reediting process.

    The only thing I don’t like about the DE is a music cue interwoven with Decker’s “I want this”. I get why it was done, but I prefer the original scoring.
     
  19. X24actor

    X24actor Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    I think it should have cold opened with the Klingons and had by the title credits during the Enterprise flyover.
     
  20. MAGolding

    MAGolding Captain Captain

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    V'Ger didn't digitize whole galaxies out of existence, exterminating quadrillions of person, instead it made digital copies at an incredibly reduced scale if they fit inside V'Ger.

    And V'Ger didn't visit those galaxies either, since it didn't have time to do so.

    At an average speed of TOS warp seven - the fastest speed reported for V'Ger, V'Ger could travel about 102,900 to 137,200 light years in 300 to 400 Earth years. The far side of the galaxy should be about 26,000 to 76,000 or even up to 226,000 light years from Earth, depending on how you measure it, so V'Ger could not have had time to do much zig-zaging as it traveled back to Earth. So V'Ger's data about distant galaxies would come from studying them with the super advanced telescopes that the machine planet no doubt equipped V'Ger with.
     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2019