This is the most professional fan edit I have ever seen. I don't know TM2YC personally, but I would not be surprised to learn that TM2YC's a professional film editor.
The movie is beautiful. The color pops and the effects are outstanding. Combined with the Goldsmith score and the high concept but sparse sci-fi plot, this feels like what a Star Trek art film would look like - less of a story and more of an experience. The narrative that is there has been deftly edited by TM2YC, who makes it as exciting as possible given the original material. And the opening credits are great. I guess I could have done more with a bit more character conflict between Decker and Kirk, but that's a minor quibble and is more a matter of personal taste.
As other reviewers have pointed out, opening the film on Vulcan was a brilliant move. This is Spock's journey and we see that so much more clearly now. Also, thanks for removing those awkward bits about Ilia swearing an oath of celibacy (wtf Gene...).
This film provides a nice bridge between All Our Yesterdays (my preferring stopping point for TOS) and The Wrath of Khan, as we see Kirk and Spock in transitory stages of their lives, with Spock finally gaining inner peace and Kirk beginning his midlife crisis.
It's no Wrath of Khan or Voyage Home, but this is the best this film will ever be.
Right from the opening titles, I knew I'd like this edit. The V'ger cloud is cleverly used, and opening on Vulcan makes a lot of sense. The only thing I found jarring in the first 30 minutes was the Enterprise Introduction, since there were some unfortunate musical cuts and visual effects of Kirk in the pod that haven't aged well.
But the color! I went into this dreading another drab, lifeless experience, but I found myself largely without complaint. Brilliant!
There's one small issue I take with the final card - 'The Human Adventure is just beginning' perfectly encapsulates the spirit of this film (The Human Adventure should have been the title), so to immediately connect it to The Wrath of Khan shakes me out of the introspection that was clearly intended with that cerebral ending.
This is an amazing fanedit. I'm incredibly impressed by TM2YC's work. Instead of just making some trims, TM2YC goes all out to make every aspect of this film as best as it can be. Color grading, visual FX fixes/enhancements, extensive sound editing to make the world come alive. Bravo! This is a perfect example of a fanedit that should be released as an official Special Edition.
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.