Star Trek 1: The Motion Picture - The Director's Edition 
Universal, suitable for all
USA / English
It was an event that every fan had waited a decade for: the first Star Trek
movie. But after its cinema release in 1979 Star Trek: The Motion Picture
was quickly dubbed "The Slow-Motion Picture". In the opinion of general audiences, fans and critics alike, the snail-like pace of the film was a crippling flaw. It bothered one person even more, though: but Robert Wise finally got to scratch that itch when preparing this Director's Edition.
In an unprecedented display of confidence from a movie studio, Wise has been allowed to re-edit the film and commission new visual effects sequences that were planned but unrealised for the original release. The result is frankly mind-boggling. Finally we are now able to see how Vulcan was supposed to amaze and alienate us, how integral the B-crew's role was to the mission, and just how spectacular the V'ger ship was imagined to be. Is the pace problem addressed? Undoubtedly it is. Scenes are trimmed and a new "busier" effects soundtrack helps considerably. Does it look better? Definitely. The shades of beige and puce have never seemed more crisply defined. Does it sound better? Jerry Goldsmith's music score (arguably one of the best ever written) is as majestically represented as the Enterprise herself.
On the DVD: Star Trek: The Motion Picture two-disc set has oodles of extra features, including a complete library of all scenes deleted from both the original and new versions. The picture quality varies throughout, but it's worth putting up with for the (Wise-ly) excised material such as the unfinished effects work. An audio commentary from Wise, special effects director John Dykstra, composer Jerry Goldsmith and Commander Decker himself (Stephen Collins) provides an appraisal for movie aficionados more than Trek fans: the latter will be far more interested in a text commentary from Trek author and scholar Mike Okuda, who points out endless amounts of in-trivia. Better even than all these are three new documentaries that chronicle the film's history from then to now. Each is brightly put together (they don't drag), informative without being overly technical, and exude a pride without bragging. --Paul Tonks
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