December 19, 2014
Star Trek: Reunion
First off, the editor removed the prelude--this is actually the only edit I disagree with, and fairly strongly. The prelude sets the tone for the whole movie, setting it apart from that other adventure/space opera franchise. It gives it an introspective 2001 feel and I really miss it. Fortunately, that's easy enough to fix, and even more fortunately, that's the only negative I really have for this edit!
The credits have been re-worked and instead of text on a black background, the text is now overlayed on top of the moving V'ger cloud visuals (no doubt cut from elsewhere in the movie). It's a nice touch and modernizes things a bit without looking out of place.
The next change is one of the more major ones. The main feature opens with Spock on Vulcan instead of the Klingon encounter with the cloud. There are several reasons why I like this change--it allows the movie to continually build from Vulcan to the Klingon encounter instead of leading with Klingons and then dropping the pace back down for Spock and Starfleet HQ (which has also been cut). We now progress from a dose of mystery to a little more mystery with some action on top. Opening with Spock also instantly places the focus of the movie on his journey.
The Vulcan sky is completely repainted and looks great, and I appreciated the cuts to the cloud to emphasize spock's connection, even at this stage, with V'ger.
Several more cuts ensue, the most important of which is the transporter accident. The music was a little jarring at the top of Kirk's leaving the space dock scene, but it works alright. (The original feature had much more subdued music, very slowly building to the introduction of the gorgeous new Enterprise). There's a really nice shot of the sun rising behind the Enterprise as it departs which has been cut. I miss that shot, but conceptually, I understand why this was done and don't exactly disagree with it.
I should mention that I'm a fan of this movie even in its original, unedited form--I love all the drawn out visual scenes, but the editing has been tastefully done. So well, in fact, that despite knowing it had been shortened, I couldn't really tell just how. The end results are clear, though: the Enterprise leaves space dock a scant 22 minutes into the movie. The original version? 33 minutes! (That's 36 including the prelude!)
Ilia's character has been significantly edited, and considerably for the better. There is nothing (ok, other than "she's bald!") to say she's anything other than a normal humanoid female, who aparrently has a bit of history with Decker. No more healing powers, wierd over-sexualization, etc. A very welcome change.
The wormhole sequence has been significantly trimmed, the most noticeable part being Chekhov's line "tooooorpeeeeedooooooo... awayyyyyyyy!", which I always found a bit humorous (and thus distracting from what was supposed to be a very tense situation).
There are several other changes, many of them subtle modifications to characters rather than visuals--you can read about them in the changes log. The bottom line is, if you wanted to love the original version of this movie but couldn't get past the pacing, give this edit a try--it may be just what you're looking for. If you're looking for an action-packed adventure, I'm afraid Star Trek 1 will never be that, no matter how much editing you throw at it.
This is a near flawless edit, both technically and artistically. It tightens things up while staying true to the original concept. Highly, highly recommended.