A Year in Star Trek Movies: The Motion Picture

I’ve decided that I’m going to watch one Star Trek movie every month this year. I’m doing this for a few of reasons.

1. I’m not 100% sure I’ve seen all the movies. I may have missed five and six and I don’t think I finished Nemesis.

2.I felt like revisiting the movies since it’s been nearly twenty years since I’ve watched some of them.

3. I’m doing just one a month because I’m not a huge TOS fan and I’m afraid the early movies might be a slog to get through.

So, I began with the movie I dreaded the most, the first film titled: Star Trek: The Motion Picture.

I’m going to do a sort of micro-review of the film that will remain mostly spoiler free. It’ll be similar to how I review films on Brandon’s Horror.

My History With the Film:
I didn’t grow up a Star Trek fan. In fact, other than Trouble with the Tribbles and a few Next Generation episodes I watched on some random Christmas as a teenager, I didn’t watch any Star Trek. It was just too clean and too sophisticated for me.

My first attempt at getting into Star Trek came with the release of the Director’s Cut of The Motion Picture on DVD which was released in November 2001. My DVD collecting was at an all-time high and I had recently begun working so I had free cash to blow on nice DVDs of movies that I had never seen before, Star Trek: The Motion Picture was one of them. I was attracted to the box due to some nice artwork and the fact that it was two discs packed with features. Also promised were some cuts and updated CGI which interested me.

I recall watching it and wondering what in the hell was I watching. It was super slow, strange, and very long. I remember falling asleep at one point and having to go back and rewatch parts which made it even worse. In the end, the film didn’t spark a love of Star Trek, if anything it assured me that this was not a franchise for me. (Thankfully, The Next Generation showed me the errors of my ways.)

What The Film Is About (Non-Spoiler):

Captain Kirk the original crew reunite to take the upgraded Enterprise out to confront an alien entity that is heading towards Earth.

What I Liked About It:
-The music is nice and calming.

-I really loved the slow look at the Enterprise and the use of suited workers to really show the scale of the ship. I don’t think I’ve ever truly realized how big a starship is until this movie.

-The special effects are neat and make for a very psychedelic experience. You can tell it was inspired by 2001.

-The ending is fun and I loved the reveal of the alien. It made me smile and I thought it was an excellent plot device.

What I Didn’t Like About It:
-The movie is long and the pacing is terrible. I know this is a film from the 70’s, but it feels like it’s twice as long as it actually is. I fell asleep twice while watching it this time around.

-Unless you know the characters from the series, hardly any of them come across likeable. Kirk is a rank pulling jerk, Spock is a closed off insubordinate, and Bones is a hippy grump. It’s hard to root for them which is troubling in a plot that moves at a snail’s pace.

Thoughts:
I was hoping that age and maturity would allow for me to enjoy this film more than I did. It’s still very slow and hard to watch. From my understanding the film had a rushed shoot and I think it shows on film. The actors don’t seem motivated and the film almost feels like a reel for the visual effects team.

My first Star Trek movie was not a good one and I have a feeling this will be the worse one to go through. I can safely say I will never attempt to watch this movie ever again. It’s a horrible introduction into Star Trek and while I’m sure it has its fans, it’s just not for me.

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