Star Trek: Reunion

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8.6
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As others here have done, I'm now adopting this is as my go-to version of the film. It's about as definitive as I'm ever likely to see it.

So much so that I just re-watched in lieu of the fancy (and expensive) 4K UHD copy I've had sitting, unwatched, on my shelf for many months now.

I'm old enough *Sigh* to remember the pre-Star Wars Days when there was NO Trek other than the original show. Sure, there were some comics, a couple of books and a few toys and models...but that was it. For fans of the fantasy and sci-fi in the UK there was mostly just Doctor Who, Blake's 7, the odd Trek repeat and whatever Hammer Horror or vintage monster movie you could catch late on Friday BBC 2.

Its funny to think of now but in the pre-VHS days I would ask my school librarian to order in the ST Episode 'Fotonovels' and (like many other fans) record the occasional repeat on these things called ''Cassette Tapes.' Then I could experience a full-length audio episode whenever I wanted - better still, be lucky enough to have an audio recording COMBINED with a Fotonovel...Audio Visual heaven!

As Long as you didn't mind instances of your dad piping up about how this was 'A lot of rubbish' as he passed through the room!

I waited with GREAT anticipation for the Motion Picture to the reach our local screen and when I finally saw it my reaction was, well, complicated, to say the least. It was certainly great to see the old cast back and it really did look great. It felt bigger and more epic. But I was still a kid and, once you'd seen a Death Star trench battle, the pace just felt waaaay too sloooow.

Growing up, my appreciation of the film has grown considerably. I've read a great deal about its troubled, time-constrained production and very much enjoyed Wise's Director's Cut which was a step in the right direction. Especially as I was now ready to view the MP not as a long-form episode of the TV show but as a cerebral 2001-esque science fiction film in the truest sense.

TM2YC has perfected STMP for me and its now fulfilled its potential. THIS was the way it should have been seen originally. Its been tightened up even more and there are all sorts of subtle touches and grace notes which enhance it while keeping its DNA related to the original show. I loved this and if you've always been sniffy about the first ST movie then you should see this and consider a serious re-appraisal.

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Yes
Format Watched?
DVD
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(Updated: March 17, 2023)
Overall rating
 
8.8
Audio/Video Quality
 
9.0
Audio Editing
 
9.0
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8.0
Narrative
 
9.0
Enjoyment
 
9.0
The biggest tragedy regarding Star Trek: The Motion Picture is that it had the potential to be a masterpiece. If it hadn't been for its slow pace and 130-140 minute running time, I truly believe TMP could've been a worthy theatrical entry for the Star Trek franchise. Some people feel that the reason for the excessive length was because it was trying too hard to be the next 2001. I'm not so sure about that, as the logic that goes on in this movie is pretty faithful to the show. My personal opinion is that Robert Wise was simply the wrong person to direct a film about the Enterprise crew, talented though he may be. Musicals like The Sound of Music and West Side Story are Wise's bread and butter, and while the slow pacing may work for a musical, it wasn't necessary or appropriate for an adaptation of a popular sci-fi TV show.

Whatever the reason, the 103-minute runtime of TM2YC's edit was a big drawing factor for me in deciding to see this edit. Did TM2YC's cut finally give this film the justice it deserved? Well, in answer to my own question, just about.

I should note, though, that even in this edit's truncated form, there are still a few instances where the scenes go on for longer than they should. The introduction to the enterprise, for example, now only contains 6 wide establishing shots of the Enterprise, and yet, I still felt like the scene only needed two. There's another scene that occurs later on that suffers from the repetitive reaction shot/establishing shot/reaction shot/establishing shot/reaction shot/establishing shot editing pattern that was so deadly to the original cut. Still, these incidents happen so much less that it's hard to call it a problem anymore. I'm also curious to see if a second viewing will make these two issues invisible.

Overall, this is a true improvement over the original version, and if I want to prove that Star Trek: the Motion Picture really could've been a watchable movie, Reunion is one edit I'm happy to use as proof.

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Yes
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Digital
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(Updated: October 06, 2021)
Overall rating
 
8.8
Audio/Video Quality
 
10.0
Audio Editing
 
10.0
Visual Editing
 
9.0
Narrative
 
7.0
Enjoyment
 
8.0
Haven't watched TMP in years (decades!) but this was so much less painful than the last time I watched the extended director's cut. In fact, the virtues of this movie are on full display, including the delight at getting the cast back together, the lavish production design, groundbreaking score and the stunning visual effects. TM2YC's editing highlights each of these and makes it easy to see how this was Roddenberry's vision for an entirely new Star Trek series. With how different it is from the rest of the film series, it's tempting to view TMP as a non-canonical hiccup, but this edit makes it impossible to reject the film outright, particularly with how much its tone shares with early seasons of The Next Generation (which also borrowed liberally from the abandoned Phase II series). If, like me, your favourite TOS character is Bones, there's a lot to love here, with his more caustic lines from the original version stripped away in favour of good old fashioned irrascibility.

User Review

Do you recommend this edit?
Yes
Format Watched?
Digital
R
Top 10 Reviewer 156 reviews
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Overall rating
 
8.8
Audio/Video Quality
 
8.0
Audio Editing
 
9.0
Visual Editing
 
10.0
Narrative
 
8.0
Enjoyment
 
9.0
Fascinating, Captain. It appears that our first reunion on the big screen was more interesting than the original Starlogs suggested. TM2YC has imperceptibly yet compellingly improved the narrative of our journey.

Well, damn it, Jim. Give TM2YC a medal or something. This ensign has saved our audience from falling asleep during the movie!

Aye, sir. We've got warp speed now. She still has technical difficulties, including some blurring on the bridge and obvious resolution changes, but she'll deliver where it matters.

Course heading, captain?

Thataway. (Or, to paraphrase Kirk, when choosing between this edit and the theatrical release: THISaway.)

Note: The source material has serious flaws, both narrative and technical, which prevent perfect marks for this outstanding edit. One detail that could have been improved is the flatness of the (compressed) audio. The clarity of separation between dialog and sound effects could have benefited from higher-resolution audio rendering.

Note 2: Thank you turntheradioxoff for adding subtitles.

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Yes
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Digital
L
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Overall rating
 
8.6
Audio/Video Quality
 
10.0
Audio Editing
 
9.0
Visual Editing
 
10.0
Narrative
 
9.0
Enjoyment
 
5.0
I'm torn with reviewing this edit because I really don't want to be negative about something that obviously took lots of hard work and time. However I did want to give my opinion on the edit and so I decided to write this up. First off, this is the best "Star Trek: The Motion Picture" has ever looked. It even surpasses the bluray release. There are some issues with the added sound effects and score being slightly louder than the original but it's not a dealbreaker.

My problems with the edit are the same as with the initial release, it's tedious and not very interesting. It's like watching "2001: A Space Odyssey" but with Star Trek characters. Thankfully the over-long beauty shots of the Enterprise are trimmed down. I know this is a divisive movie and I just happen to fall on the negative side I guess. I was hoping this shorter edit would turn me around but it didn't. Like I wrote before, it looks awesome and is not as long so if you like the original this will probably be your preferred version. If you didn't care for the storyline this might not be for you.

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No
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Digital
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