Which version of TMP should I watch?

Discussion in 'Star Trek Movies I-X' started by Tribble Threat, May 4, 2020.

  1. Pauln6

    Pauln6 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2009
    Location:
    Bristol, United Kingdom
    Not that I've noticed but the outtakes on the Dvd are movie letterboxed. I haven't yet done a full run through on the big screen but my preliminary view showed some juddering in the Enterprise flyby so that's my only worry as it is really noticeable.

    I avoided changes to the same shot. So, while I used Chapels reaction shot from the SLV to Ilia, I just timed it over the DE shot to catch McCoy's reaction the same. It cuts over Ilia's dialogue at the start and looks much better. That said, you can manually fix things e.g. in Gimp that if the movie editor can't.

    Extracting files off the Dvd with. Ffmg or vlcpayer is easy enough. There is a noticeable dip in sound quality which I'm sure a sound editor could fix.

    I did have the added problem that my DE was a HD fan edit but I upscaled the Dvd standard definition using a free trial of After Effects.
     
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2020
  2. Relayer1

    Relayer1 Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2011
    Location:
    The Black Country, England
    Am I the only one that wants a "complete" version ? All the longest takes and shots, in the best possible quality. Maybe even a few additions from the cutting room floor.

    Make it definitive - put in everything available, and make it branching so you can watch any version you wish.
     
    PhotoBoy and Smellmet like this.
  3. Pauln6

    Pauln6 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2009
    Location:
    Bristol, United Kingdom
    When I finally saw the theatrical cut, the final V'Ger scenes really dragged. Some trimming does help.
     
  4. Relayer1

    Relayer1 Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2011
    Location:
    The Black Country, England
    But I love the V'Ger scenes - have done since I saw it in the theatre on release. I want them in.

    Everyone's got different tastes.
     
    PhotoBoy likes this.
  5. Pauln6

    Pauln6 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2009
    Location:
    Bristol, United Kingdom
    Absolutely. To be honest it's only Chekov's replacement getting out of her chair very slowly, belay that phaser order (it's just painfully slow) and some slight trims between the dialogue in the final scene that would be my preference.
     
  6. AntonyF

    AntonyF Official Tahmoh Taster Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2000
    Location:
    London, UK
    I had this choice and I went for the Blu-ray version. I'm glad I did, it looked great. A fuzzy DVD would bug me more than the things that the director's edition fixed.

    For me it was a revelation. I watched this movie YEARS ago... not sure how many but I suspect 20 or so. I hated it. Dull, anodyne. I see I rated it 2* on IMDb.

    Rewatching now that I'm older and greyer and with more films under my belt such as 2001, I have a much different view.

    The sets I rather liked after not liking them previously. It looked amazing. It made space feel large and grand. The scene where they come onto the Enterprise for the first time was just sublime. All of it had a sense of epic. The ending did lack some clout, but overall the film held my interest throughout.

    I do think it's a good sci-fi movie; I can see it's not really a good Star Trek movie. It lacks the character warmth and humour that we've grown to love. But for me it's quite a u-turn.

    The other difference is I watched TOS for the first time a couple of years back... that may help.

    Would like to see the director's cut in Blu-ray one day.
     
  7. Grant

    Grant Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2006
    yeah the quality of the picture is the most important thing about a movie
     
  8. Cryogenic

    Cryogenic Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2008
    I don't think anyone is saying that, but there's a stark difference in picture quality between the TMP DE on DVD and the theatrical cut of the film on Blu-ray. The latter is significantly more detailed and solid-looking. The audio is clearer and punchier on the latter, too. That said, the DE probably has a more faithful colour tone, despite the much duller- and muddier-looking image. On the Blu-ray, everything is way too blue-looking. Not to mention persistent noise-reduction, plus some very obvious black crush in the space shots, etc.

    And yes, from an editing standpoint, the DE is the superior version, reincorporating several key character moments that were unfortunately tossed aside in 1979, and offering a more complete audio-visual experience (some odd/grating decisions aside). I think they could have left the V'Ger flyover material intact. But, basically, to me, it is the superior presentation -- even though, on a technical level, it is sadly lacking at present, stuck at DVD resolution and desperately deserving of a 4K remaster. Once the DE gets a remaster into the HD realm, then we can better compare the two. Right now, the theatrical cut has an unfair advantage, and it's a not-insignificant one.

    On another note, I think I take back some of my negativity from an earlier post. I was re-watching the wormhole sequence the last week or so. I find the DE version much more palatable and far more "complete". I had forgotten how much I actually prefer the latter. For one thing, despite my earlier complaint about the altered Red Alert klaxon, I actually like how the new one plays in the background and drags out in a doppler-effect, dream-like manner as the Enterprise "burrows" farther into the wormhole. And the added effect of the Enterprise blasting free of the wormhole makes the sequence feel much slicker and satisfying. It's just a punctuation mark, but it makes quite a difference. And yes, I know, the original was rushed and they might have done an even better job with more time, bla bla... Overall, the DE justifies itself, I think. But damn, we need an upgraded, UHD version....
     
    Pauln6 and Grant like this.
  9. Grant

    Grant Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2006
    Well I certainly could not agree more with the sentiment that the Director's Edition needs a proper 4K restoration like the majority of big (and not so big) budget science fiction movies from that era are getting. Even movies that are not being released on 4K discs are receiving 4K Restorations or have had in the past. The list is pretty much endless Terminator RoboCop, Alien Aliens Total Recall the Star Wars movies of course the Thing 1982, ET, Close Encounters, even Flash Gordon is getting a deluxe restoration and box set!
    And the fact that they used such a dirty print for the director's Edition is nothing less than appalling and shameful. To give the original director of his stature the chance to revisit his movie edited as he never had a chance to do and then give him such a filthy dirty scratched up print to work with is mind-boggling.
    With all that said the movie adds 6 minutes that entirely consists of the very character moments that the fans complained the movie lacked when they saw the theatrical cut.
    Think of a list of your favorite movies and then imagine if you had to choose between a dirty print on DVD of that movie or an absolutely brilliantly restored pristine Blu-ray or 4K disc of the very same movie with 6 minutes cut out them.
    Would you choose to watch the latter simply because it had a brilliant picture and sound? Obviously I could not. And as you have just pointed out although the Blu-ray of the theatrical cut looks good it is not without its own issues.
    I know people have various issues with the director's cut but for me the overriding concern are the character moments. I simply cannot watch the movie without the character moments restored of Kirk McCoy, Scott and especially Spock.
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2020
    Pauln6 and Cryogenic like this.
  10. Cryogenic

    Cryogenic Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2008
    Yes. And given that TMP was one of the most lavish and expensive movie productions of all time when it came out, it's pretty sad there isn't a 4K restoration at this moment -- when, as you say, other big sci-fi movies have 4K versions available.

    Right. It's really shocking that they used such a dirty print and didn't put it through any kind of restoration process -- or not one of any significance, anyway. It seems they had a very limited budget and chose to concentrate on "completing" the film as a "proof of concept" rather than polishing it up correctly as a finished product. Yet it was billed as the definitive vision. So it's interesting as a creative exercise, but lacks the technical rigour the project called for.

    Those character moments are all welcome. I do agree that TMP is "character-impaired" in its original cut. I think you're setting up a false dichotomy, though. A purist that wants more character action might stick to the DE. But someone who liked the original cut enough or wants good picture and sound quality is more likely to reach for the Blu-ray. The problem of the DE being in "Standard Definition" is compounded by the terrible/mediocre print they used as you also recognise. That is probably a major impediment for many. It limits how good the DE in that limited format can look (and sound) when upscaled. And given the fact that TMP was designed to look (and sound) extraordinary, people are going to naturally demand good presentation.

    Of course, because of its (generally) improved editing and character moments, and some extra (welcome) shots of the Enterprise responding to the wormhole and to V'Ger, and the (generally) better sound field of the DE (though the audio is more tinny than the Blu-ray), I do prefer the DE overall. I was able to go past my original headspace and say (as above): "This is a neat proof of concept rather than a fully restored movie." Like I'm watching a leaked workprint lacking a few final touches. The theatrical cut, on the other hand, is still a solid experience, and breaks ahead (in some ways) because of how much better it looks and sounds. But there's more "mood" to the DE, I think, even if full immersion is sometimes compromised due to its technical inferiority. A proper restoration is a very exciting prospect.
     
    Pauln6 and Grant like this.