Admiral James Kirk takes over the newly revamped Enterprise and sets out to find the source of a strange cloud like substance that is eliminating everything in its path.
Star Trek: The Motion Picture gets a lot of shit, and much of it is a little undeserved. This is not a balls-to-the-wall action film, but instead a science fiction film with all that genre’s ideas and thought provoking situations. The entire plot revolves around a sentient being looking for answers, the most pertinent one being “who is my master,” or in other words “who created me?” It is a question that exists in a lot of science fiction stories and Star Trek is the perfect place to examine the idea. However, fans wanted tribbles and God-like humanoids and space ship battles, similar to what they experienced in the television series. This might have been a little too cerebral for many of those viewers.
However, the movie is a decent little sci-fi flick and contains some nice performances by William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy and Deforest Kelly and what more can you ask for? The conclusion of the movie was gimmicky with the being turning out to be a Voyager Probe sent out hundreds of years before to collect information. I think the movie lost steam with the ending but most of the movie is nowhere near as bad as people make it out to be.
The Blu-Ray transfer is magnificent. When you look at the deleted scenes, which are still in their standard definition format, it is even more spectacular. The colors are bright and vibrant. The dullness of the original movie is gone, the black levels are deep and the contrast is amazing. The outer space special effects look better than ever and this is the best the movie has looked. The audio is pretty loud but there are spots where it drops in and out, making it a little too uneven for my tastes.
While watching the movie you can listen to a fun, informative commentary by Michael & Denise Okuda, Judith & Garfield Reeves-Stevens and Daren Dochterman. The commentary is given from the point of view of these individuals as fans and is a love letter to Trekkies everywhere as they talk about homages, continuity trivia and even discover new items of interest as they re-watch this movie. Also included on this Blu-Ray is a trivia track called Library Computer, which is an interactive extra where fans can click on numerous tidbits of information. This is more suited for the Trekkies as you can learn the dialogue the characters are speaking, where in the solar system they happen to be, what equipment and instruments are in the shot and more. It is like the recent BD-Live trivia about movie actors and locations but made specifically with Trekkies in mind.
The first feature on this Blu-Ray is called The Longest Trek (HD), and is about the writing of the motion picture. They talk to a number of the writers involved, as well as actor Walter Koenig (Chekov), about the road from the television show to the movie. I found it funny that the studio said they wanted to make a movie from the television show. When the production team was working on the movie, the studio said it shouldn’t be a movie, but instead a second generation television show. Then when they switched formats and developed the pilot for the new series, the studio asked why they were making it a TV show when it should have been a movie like Star Wars. You can only imagine the studio heads had no idea what they were doing. It’s also funny that the screenwriters had to rewrite the script as the movie wore on based on Leonard Nimoy and William Shatner’s instructions (they had final say), and then had that rewritten by Gene Roddenberry who didn’t want to lose control of his creation, and then watched as the filmmakers made it in their own vision anyway.
Next up is a special Star Trek Reunion (HD). There is one scene in the original movie (a large crew scene early on) that is composed of Star Trek fans, friends and family members as stand-ins, playing members of the crew. This feature has five of those individuals reminisce about what it was like to be in that scene in the movie. That is followed by Starfleet Academy (HD), a feature that is displayed as “SCISEC Brief 001.” It is set up like an informational video brief about the history of the V-ger. The Blu-Ray is rounded out with eleven deleted scenes (SD), storyboards, trailers, TV spots and a BD-Live feature which is a trivia quiz.