An absolutely delightful edit. I haven't yet managed to convince my wife that there's a good movie hidden inside TMP, but I have at least proved it to myself. I watched the original once more simply to make sure I knew what I was losing, and I don't think I will ever watch it again. This is a superior product, for all the many reasons others have enumerated.
I gave a few points off in the audio department, because a number of the sfx the editor added were wrong -- really, really wrong. Why is an Enterprise-D beep sequence playing on the bridge? Why is the computer console in Engineering making the beepboops from Voyager? (And not just Voyager, either -- a few of those sfx are from one specific episode of Voyager, though I've forgotten which one, and are never heard again.) I don't expect most other people will notice or care, but I found it profoundly jarring, and I just had to train my ear not to care anymore.
But, before my qualms cause you to hesitate in your decision to watch this edit (and, make no mistake: you SHOULD watch this edit!), you should know that I am a producer for a Star Trek fan audio drama (Starship Excelsior), and so I am more attuned to this sort of thing than sane people are. And you should know that most of the sound effects the editor used were downloaded from TrekCore... which obtained most of their sound library from me in the first place, which is why I know them very, very well. And you should know that it is almost impossible to get this stuff right: even my show sometimes makes a mistake, or simply uses the "wrong" effect because it sounds better in context. We know that only the most anal-retentive Trek audio nerds out there will notice or care, and that's a price we're willing to pay for a rich audio soundscape.
So, if you're not a huge Trek audio nerd, don't worry about it. If you are, just prepare yourself going in for some jarring moments. But don't turn it off the first time it annoys you! You'll get used to the anachronistic fx, and, by the time the Enterprise reaches V'Ger, you won't notice them at all anymore. The important thing about this fanedit is how it streamlines and reshapes the narrative of Star Trek TMP, while staying true to its feel and intent. If you own a copy of TMP, watch this.
TM2YC's Star Trek Reunion is the fan edit I have been most anticipating so far this year, and I am very happy to report the wait has been well worth it. TM2YC has injected new energy into this film and delivers a solid, more enjoyable reinterpretation.
First off, let's be crystal clear, this may the BEST LOOKING version of STTMP EVER!!! The colours are vibrant and rich, instantly refreshing the viewing experience and injecting some of the lost wonder into the voyage through V'GER. Absolutely beautiful work by the editor! There are some scenes of obvious lower video quality, but I do not mind them as they are vital to the narration. In fact, I wish a few more had been used for continuity, such as showing Chapel arriving on the bridge to help Chekov instead of her just mysteriously appearing from off stage.
The revised narration is faster paced and well executed. Kirk appears slightly less ineffective and more commanding, while his relationship with Decker is still challenging, it comes across slightly more respectful and professional. Personally, I miss McCoy's mistrust of Spock subplot, as it always seemed appropriate to me and added some needed extra tension and added another dynamic to the theft of the spacesuit scene.
Love the audio work. Great new music cues and background sound FXs throughout the edit. My favourite was by far was hearing the bridge computer say, "Working....". Pure Trek awesomeness!!!
Though I really wish Sulu's dreadful offscreen "Why...why it's...." line had been cut...lol.
The journey to the heart of V'GER, while shorter than the original, and as I said before, more wondrous due to the colour work, still feels long and drawn out. I wish at least another minute or more had been cut, to try and keep the original series tone and pacing.
So many wonderful things about this edit.... while I still prefer the DC version of Vulcan, TY2YC offers a gorgeous looking alternative.... the klingon battlecruisers looked magnificent (and thank you for showing the fate of the mysteriously lost 3rd ship).... the new end title card....
So much time and work went into this edit, almost every single scene has been tweaked in some manner and it all pays off very nicely.
The dvd menu is very lovely, tying into TY2YC's dvd art design (...oh, and I LOVE the second dvd art too... reminds me of the original teaser poster for the movie--well done!!!), though I wish the fan edit trailer had been included with it too.
A truly wonderful fan edit that now sits proudly on my shelf with my Star Trek collection.
I really liked the Lovecraftian elements of the original film, but I also thought the movie was too slow paced for my taste, this version is much more straightforward but without losing character development and narrative.
I'm old enough to remember this movie when it was released although I never saw it at the cinema. I've seen it many, many times over the years and can pretty much spot any change as it occurs in a fan edit of ST:TMP. What this faneditor has done is nothing short of miraculous. He has improved on the original and made me look at it in a fresh light.
The big change here is the colour timing. There's a very warm push in the colours which make the colour scheme pop and look vibrant in HD. In particular, the external shots look absolutely gorgeous. Some facial tones can look a little too warm at times and unfortunately Spock loses some of his yellow pallor in some close ups, but on the whole the editor has made the film look gorgeous.
Speaking of the editing, the first thing you notice is the V'ger first person journey created by Douglas Trumbull over the beginning credits. Simply put, this looks stunning! Why they never thought to do this originally or even in the directors edition is beyond me. Also it helps connect V'Ger to Spock in a much stronger way than was originally done. This for me this is an inspired choice from the editor.
Personally, I would have preferred either an external shot of Vulcan from space (either taken from the 2009 movie or STIII:TSFS with a caption to place the movie after the credits, or a title card over the fantastic new matte shot created by the editor for this version. I believe the Spock Kolinarh scene could have been stronger if it was edited back to front. For example, after the titles and I would have like to have seen Spock looking up immediately to make that connection between him and V'ger stronger. Then have the matriach watching him and him approach and then leave Spock after the mind meld where he bends to pick up the trinket and then looks up again. I had a tinker with the scene myself and it can be done convincingly, but it is a matter of taste and I applaud the editor for the work he did here.
Then we have a jump to the dry dock completely omitting Kirk's journey to Starfleet HQ. I didn't think this would work at first but actually it works incredibly well. The only problem I had with it was again I didn't know where I was and feel a shot of the Earth or of a Starbase from III or VI would have helped or even a title card with "Earth, Stardate blah blah" etc. Its a matter of taste but I was aware that someone not familiar as I am might not necessarily know where they are at that point in the movie as we were just on Vulcan seconds before.
There are some great music cues, some TOS sound queues that will make old Trekkers smile and some great tightening of editing throughout the movie but Act 2 and 3 pretty much play out as they did originally.
Some of the directors edition footage has made its way into the film and all the choices here are good ones. Some of the footage is barely noticeable as being of a lower quality but some of it towards the end doesn't fare so well. I wonder if it's possible to transcode that stuff and a very high bitrate to improve the quality. Perhaps the editor already tried that and what we get is the results of the encode.
All in all, this fan edit is my preferred version of this movie and one which I will watch whenever I feel like watching ST:TMP.
I'm in a very rare minority where I actually like Star Trek: The Motion Picture for what it is, slow pacing and all. Naturally, I was intrigued by the idea of a fan-edit with superior color grading and much faster, smoother pacing, and luckily, it does not disappoint. Star Trek: Reunion moves at the perfect pace and without sacrificing essential narrative and character moments. It certainly looks beautiful as well and the editing, once again, is terrific. Absolutely the definitive version of this particular film.