Having watched all six of Bob's TOS movie edits, I can definitely say that they're all recommended, and all of them make me WANT to say that they're my new go-too versions of the films they edit. With ST2, I'd say the original and Bob's version both have their merits. With ST3 through ST5, I'd say Bob's versions are slightly better (and when I say that, it's important to note that I liked the originals quite well), but I'd still recommend that people watch both from time to time.
This edit is actually the most troubling, because while it does almost everything it needs to do in order to make the film more tightly paced and more focused on the proper characters, I feel that it actually cuts too much. Everything about it makes me want it to be my preferred version, because in basically every way it is a massive improvement over the one TOS film that I never really liked that much. There's just one problem: Decker has been cut too much. His choice at the end makes no sense because we've only seen hints of his feelings for Ilia--or, for that matter, his feelings about anything other than wanting command of the Enterprise. All we know about him in this edit is that he had a thing with Ilia and he wants his ship back. In that context, his actions at the end make no sense.
Other than that, it's great. It's the film TMP should have been. Other than that.
This has replaced the Motion Picture for me! Re-designed to play like an episode of the Original Series, the pacing in this edit is great! Orginal sound effects from the TV show have been inserted to give it a classic trek feel, opening titles that suggest what the planned phase two TV series might have been like.
This edit cuts straight to the story - any background details (Spock leaving Vulcan) are told in flashback - none of that overlong Enterprise porn (camera shots of the starship lasting for days on end) - none of the annoying bickering between Kirk and Decker - in all, a shorter more concise and therefore gripping version of the film. I always felt that the Motion Picture was a padded out TV episode, this proves that - and makes a flawed film that is difficult to watch so much more enjoyable and exciting!
Review by Dwight Fry — May 30, 2010 @ 9:45 pm, PLUS new comments about version 2 on the bottom.
As it seems, I like Star Trek: The Motion Picture a whole lot more than most people. I think it’s an excellent Sci-Fi film, my fave of the Trek movies actually. I find the way it unfolds to be more mood-creating than “boring”. In other words, adagio can be as valid and beautiful a musical tempo as allegro. So, that means I didn’t prefer this fanedit to the original.
Yet I liked it a lot better than I thought I would. My favorite angle of TMP, the mystery around V’Ger progressively unfolding, develops mostly the same way, and, otherwise, I think Bionic Bob achieved his goal to give a TOS flavor to it pretty well (I’ll leave the minor Trek mythology details to the experts). Focus is back to Kirk and Spock indeed. However, ironically I got the feeling that the reordering of his sequences in the first half pointed out his initial so-called “assholeness” more than the original. On the other hand, from watching this version no one would doubt the movie is and always was all about Kirk. The new pacing works very well mostly, the sole excepcion being Spock’s spacewalk, which I found too fast, seemed like he was continuously reading from a list instead of discovering/realizing things one at a time.
The editing was mostly very well done, except for some of the fades to black, that screamed “artificial” It might be because of the music fading out at the same time, while more of an ending cue would help hiding the stitching. Otherwise I noticed no hard cuts. However, and I understand this is a firstling, several technical aspects left quite a bit to be desired. Red-tinted sequences, as others have mentioned, look badly compressed and pixelated, but to me the biggest letdown was that the DVD was exported in 4:3 non-anamorphic widescreen format, rendering the actual movie as a smallish rectangle in the center of any panoramic screen. Also, the footage inserted into the end of Spock’s spacewalk (which I loved, actually) had fades to white which covered the black bars too, as did the final movie poster still. Some ending inserts were low quality as well (source problems, I guess), and, finally, I personally wouldn’t include the red fanedit warning as part of the main movie, but as a separate video or part of the menu (which, BTW, is very well done, particularly for a first-timer).
Overall, I’m giving this fanedit a 7/10, which would be 8 or 9 if not for technical issues. This shows a very talented faneditor, whose subsequent works I’ll be definitely checking out, and a fanedit which, if a TMP fan liked a lot, people who like Trek but didn’t much care about TMP will no doubt love to pieces.
UPDATE CONTAINING COMMENTS ABOUT V2:
It has been a real blast from the past to get back to a really great firstling from someone who quickly became one of my favorite faneditors on this site. And it's been quite an experience to finally be able to watch it in the technical conditions it deserves. This has gone a long way since the quite subpar 4:3 of version 1, it's now beautifully anamorphic and looks mostly very good. Still, there were a couple of spots which showed similar problems than version 1, particularly the "red" footage in the climax that's not red anymore but, fittingly, in very sixities-like greens and blues, yet still showing the strange pixellation Bob's software maliciously insisted in applying to bright red areas. So it seems that it'll apply it anyway even if you get the red to stop being red... Also, there's a bit of interlacing during the opening credits, which maybe were rescued straight from version 1. Audio was fine, a few music transitions stood out for me but probably because I know the score for TMP so well.
And as for the narrative itself, I liked it even better than in version 1. I still love the mood of the original TMP, but this edit feels a lot like classic Trek. One narrative flaw did stand out for me this time around, though: the cutting back of Decker and Ilia, particularly during the Decker/probe scenes, rendered these characters a bit puzzling. One moment Decker is hating the probe's mechanical guts for killing off Ilia, and suddenly in the climax they're all about making eyes at each other while the love theme plays. Of course, Decker and Ilia's acting is the weakest link of the show and I agree with their cutting back to push our beloved classic characters forward, but still it's kind of a hole. Maybe it might have worked better if I weren't so familiar with the original.
The twist ending is classic Bob, and I absolutely love it. The new David Kerin effects work great.
I'm glad Bob went back to raise the technical quality of this edit up to the level of its artistic merits. This is a classic edit, and one that is as fun to watch as the first day.
I just watched Bob's newest version of this edit (v2)
Technically it is a much more proficient edit. It looks better, the cuts are better. The Decker/Kirk relationship is explained and makes sense. The ending is slightly more ambiguous, which is more in the spirit of the original (and also better.)
On the whole, this turns a bad movie in to an enjoyable TV special (which is almost as good as good movie.)
Maybe one day we'll get treated to the same edit in HD, but for now this is as good as Star Trek: The Motion Picture can be.
I first saw this edit over two years ago, and I’m ashamed to say I’ve only just got around to writing a review about it. Overall, I thought it was very well done. BB’s intention of keeping it inline with the original TV series, and as a start to a second 5 year mission, works very well. The original music, fade outs, it all fits, and works very well. It is also an achievement that he managed to take a movie that’s 135 minutes long, and condense it down to 80 minutes, and STILL tell the same story.
UPDATE: April 2013
BionicBob has released an updated version of this edit, which has slight improvements in the video, with a few added extras to boot. Still a good edit, the added bits make this even better.
Is it an improvement? I don’t think it’s a question I can answer, because I still think the original version is a classic Trek story, whereas BionicBob’s version is a different take on it altogether, so it would be unfair to compare them both side by side. What I will say is that it is an excellent way to start a series of edits based on the first 6 Original Series movies, and moulding them into something that he has thought a hell of a lot about.
This is the start of the crew’s second 5 year mission. It would be rude to not join them.