Star Trek: The Motion Picture — The Director’s Edition: The Complete Adventure

4K ULTRA HD BLU-RAY REVIEW:

Street Date 9/6/22;
Paramount;
Sci-Fi;
$106.99 UHD BD Three-Disc Set;
Standalone $19.99 BD, $30.99 UHD;
Rated ‘PG’ for sci-fi action and mild language.
Stars William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, DeForest Kelley, George Takei, Nichelle Nichols, Walter Koenig, James Doohan, Majel Barrett, Grace Lee Whitney, Persis Kambatta, Stephen Collins.

The fully remastered Star Trek: The Motion Picture — The Director’s Cut finally arrives on HD disc in a nifty boxed set that also includes previous versions of the film, some solid bonus materials.

An extensive review of the remastered film and its history are available here from when the director’s cut debuted in 4K on Paramount+ earlier this year.

Director Robert Wise’s film that brought the crew of the Enterprise to the big screen looks and sounds just as stunning on 4K disc, which offers a few viewing options not available via streaming.

The standard Blu-ray and 4K releases for the director’s cut include the film and commentary on one disc, and a bonus disc of extras (which is a regular Blu-ray Disc for both the 4K and Blu-ray versions).

The movie is presented with two audio commentaries as well as a text commentary offering trivia and other information about the film.

The first audio commentary is from the 2001 DVD release of the director’s cut and features Wise, visual effects artists Douglas Trumbull and John Dykstra, composer Jerry Goldsmith and actor Stephen Collins. It’s presented as a compilation of interviews, not a group discussion. Wise gets the most airtime and really delves into his intentions for the film and how they came up short originally.

The second audio commentary is a newly recorded group discussion with David C. Fein, Mike Matessino and Daren R. Dochterman, who led the 4K restoration efforts, and is a fun listen since they’re also big fans of the film.

Another audio option is an isolated track of Jerry Goldsmith’s beautiful music for the film. Since so much of the film involves immense visual effects sequences (and characters reacting to them), just the score on its own is almost enough to tell the story. Given how film’s main theme went on to be used for “Star Trek: The Next Generation,” it has over time become as much associated with “Star Trek” than the music from the original series. Interestingly, the music track seems to have sourced audio from the scoring sessions, as the scenes begin with an announcement of which cue the orchestra will play.

The bonus disc includes a great eight-part documentary, running 48 minutes total, about the creation of the director’s edition and how it was ultimately restored to 4K after a 20-year wait. The disc also includes new presentations of deleted scenes, effects tests, costume tests and computer display graphics, as well as a ton of legacy bonus materials from the original DVD.

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The “Complete Adventures” collector’s set includes the 4K movie disc and the Blu-ray bonus disc, plus a third disc of the original theatrical cut in 4K.

As a special treat, this 4K disc of the theatrical cut also includes the 144 “Special Longer Version” of the movie that is essentially the extended version created for ABC in 1983 (running 12 minutes longer than the theatrical cut and eight minutes more than the director’s cut). The longer version has also been cleaned up for 4K, including finishing previously incomplete visual effects — most infamously, the scene of Capt. Kirk leaving the airlock in a spacesuit in which the surrounding soundstage is clearly visible. The scene is now complete thanks to digital effects, though there’s still a continuity gaffe as Kirk’s spacesuit is different from the one he’s wearing a few minutes later (which is why the scene was originally cut in the first place — it’s a remnant of a previous iteration of the scene that was reworked because the visual effects were too complicated). The unaltered version of the scene is offered as an extra.

For many fans, the ’83 cut was how they first saw the movie, as after the television airing it was the only version released on VHS for several years. The added scenes were released on DVD only as deleted scenes, so finally having it available in its full configuration on disc offers quite a dose of nostalgia, even if it isn’t the best way to experience the story. Comparing the three versions, however, does offer some interesting insights on the process of editing a film into its best presentation.

The special longer version is included on disc only in the “Complete Adventures” set; it’s not available with any of the standalone releases of the director’s or theatrical cuts, or the new 6-film 4K boxed set.

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The theatrical cut comes with a previously available audio commentary from a slew of “Trek” experts, plus the isolated score.

The “Complete Adventures” set comes in an outer sleeve containing hardcover slipcase that features a fold-out cutaway map of the Enterprise, with slots to house the discs. The slipcase also has a reformatted note from Wise originally from the 2001 DVD, plus a pocket that contains a booklet of production art and a bevy of collectibles, including a mini-poster, reproductions of promotional photos from the film, and stickers.

Paramount Releasing ‘Star Trek: The Motion Picture — The Director’s Edition’ on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Sept. 6

Paramount Home Entertainment will release Star Trek: The Motion Picture—The Director’s Edition on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Disc Sept. 6.

A continuation of the 1966-69 “Star Trek” TV series, 1979’s Star Trek: The Motion Picture featured the return original cast members William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, DeForest Kelley, George Takei, Nichelle Nichols, Walter Koenig and James Doohan. They were joined by newcomers Stephen Collins and Persis Khambatta in an adventure that saw the Enterprise exploring a alien vessel called V’Ger that threatened the existence of humanity.

Star Trek: The Motion Picture became the fourth-highest-grossing movie of the year with $82.3 million domestically, and earned three Academy Award nominations, for Best Visual Effects, Best Art Direction, and Best Music, Original Score.  The film brought the “Star Trek” franchise from television to the big screen, but due to a string of production problems and an ironclad release date it was rushed to theaters with incomplete visual effects and forced editing choices, clocking in at 131 minutes. Many critics felt the film’s pace was slow and ponderous. A 1983 television edit for ABC added 12 minutes of deleted scenes back into the film.

In 2001, director Robert Wise revisited the film to refine the edit and enhance the visual effects with CGI. His updated vision, coming in at 136 minutes, was released on DVD in standard-definition, but has never been available in high-definition until now, as the new visual effects had to be re-rendered in 4K. Restored by producer David C. Fein with preservationist Mike Matessino, both of whom originally collaborated with Wise (who died in 2005), the film was prepared for presentation in 4K Ultra HD with Dolby Vision high dynamic range (HDR) and an immersive Dolby Atmos soundtrack. Fein and Matessino assembled a team of special effects experts, led by returning visual effects supervisor Daren Dochterman, and utilized the resources in the Paramount Archives to re-create the effects not just in HD, but in Ultra HD.  

The remastered director’s cut was released on the Paramount+ streaming service in April and in select theaters in May.

The Sept. 6 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray includes the film on a 4K disc presented in 4K Ultra HD with Dolby Vision and HDR-10, as well as Dolby Atmos, a bonus Blu-ray with new and legacy special features, and a code for a digital copy of the film.

Extras on the 4K disc include a new audio commentary with Fein, Matessino and Dochterman; an archival commentary with Wise, Douglas Trumbull, John Dykstra, Jerry Goldsmith and Stephen Collins​; and a text commentary by Michael and Denise Okuda​.

Extras on the bonus Blu-ray include the new eight-part documentary “The Human Adventure, detailing how the director’s edition came to life:

    • “Preparing the Future” — How the remastering began;
    • “A Wise Choice” — The storied history of Robert Wise;
    • “Refitting the Enterprise” — How the Enterprise design shaped future Federation starships;
    • “Sounding Off” — Exploring new dimensions of sound in Dolby Atmos;
    • “V’ger” — The conception and restoration of an iconic alien antagonist;
    • “Return to Tomorrow” — “Reaching an already high bar with new CGI effects;
    • “A Grand Theme” — Behind Jerry Goldsmith’s iconic, influential music score that shaped the franchise’s future;
    • “The Grand Vision” – The legacy and evolving reputation of this classic movie.

Additional extras include newly released deleted scenes, effects tests, costume tests and computer display graphics, plus additional legacy bonus materials.

The 1979 movie will also be released in a limited-edition collector’s set called Star Trek: The Motion Picture — The Director’s Edition: The Complete Adventure, which includes the new director’s edition, the theatrical cut, and the TV broadcast “Special Longer Version” all on 4K Ultra HD along with special features on Blu-ray. The TV cut is offered in widescreen for the first time. The Complete Adventure will be presented in deluxe packaging along with exclusive collectibles, including reproductions of original promotional material, a booklet with behind-the-scenes images, stickers and more.

‘Star Trek: The Motion Picture — The Director’s Edition: The Complete Adventure’

“The Director’s Edition on 4k Ultra HD delivers an experience that is far more intimate, engaging, and powerful thanks to the hard work of everyone involved,” Fein said in a statement. “In building The Complete Adventure, we appreciated that many people who were first introduced to the film through the full-frame release of the ‘special longer version’ have missed it. I’m excited that it will now be available for the first time in widescreen 4K Ultra HD. After so many years, it’s deeply rewarding to finally deliver Robert Wise’s definitive director’s edition for fans to enjoy at home.”

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The director’s edition and theatrical cuts of Star Trek: The Motion Picture will also be available as part of Star Trek: The Original Motion Picture Collection, also arriving Sept. 6 from Paramount. The 15-disc boxed set contains 4K Ultra HD and Blu-ray versions of all six big-screen adventures featuring the complete original series cast. The 1979 movie was followed by 1982’s Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, 1984’s Star Trek III: The Search for Spock, 1986’s Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, 1989’s Star Trek V: The Final Frontier and 1991’s Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country.

The 4K presentations all offer Dolby Vision and HDR-10, and the set includes bonus materials and digital copies for each film. In addition, Star Trek II and Star Trek VI will also include the director’s cuts of those films.

This also marks the 4K disc debuts of Star Trek V and VI. The theatrical cuts of the first four movies were released as a 4K boxed set in September 2021. Paramount Sept. 6 will also release all six films individually on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray. All six films, including the director’s cut of Star Trek: The Motion Picture, will also be released on regular Blu-ray.

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The new 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray releases are timed to coincide with the 56th anniversary of the airing of the first episode of “Star Trek” on Sept. 6, 1966 on Canada’s CTV network. The show debuted in the United States two days later, Sept. 8, on NBC.

In addition, in celebration of its 40th anniversary, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan will return to select theaters on Sept. 4, 5 and 8 in special engagements presented by Fathom Events, Turner Classic Movies and Paramount Pictures. Tickets can be purchased at www.fathomevents.com or at participating theater box offices.

Remastered ‘Star Trek: The Motion Picture — The Director’s Edition’ Arrives on Paramount+ April 5

The 4K restoration of Star Trek: The Motion Picture — The Director’s Cut will debut exclusively on streaming service Paramount+ on April 5

Five months later, in September, the studio will issue the film on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray with extensive new bonus content, details of which will be released on a later date. 

Fans will also have the opportunity to see the remastered Star Trek: The Motion Picture — The Director’s Cut on the big screen when Fathom Events and Paramount Pictures bring it to theaters for an exclusive two-day event May 22 and May 25. Tickets will go on sale Friday, April 8 at FathomEvents.com.

Originally released in 1979, Star Trek: The Motion Picture became the fourth top-grossing movie of the year and earned three Academy Award nominations for Best Visual Effects, Best Art Direction, and Best Music, Original Score.  The film brought the “Star Trek” franchise from television to the big screen, but due to a string of production problems and an ironclad release date it was rushed to theaters with incomplete visual effects and forced editing choices, clocking in at 131 minutes. Many critics felt the film’s pace was slow and ponderous. A 1983 television edit for ABC added 12 minutes of deleted scenes back into the film.

In 2001, director Robert Wise revisited the film to refine the edit and enhance the visual effects with CGI. His updated vision, coming in at 136 minutes, was released on DVD in standard-definition, but has never been available in high-definition until now, as the new visual effects had to be re-rendered in 4K. Restored by producer David C. Fein with preservationist Mike Matessino, both of whom originally collaborated with Wise, the film has been prepared for presentation in 4K Ultra HD with Dolby Vision high dynamic range (HDR) and a new Dolby Atmos soundtrack.  Fein and Matessino assembled a team of special effects experts, led by returning visual effects supervisor Daren Dochterman, and utilized the resources in the Paramount Archives to re-create the effects not just in HD, but in Ultra HD.  

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“I couldn’t be prouder and more thrilled to have completed the film in 4K,” Fein said in a statement. “Paramount offered unprecedented access to the original elements and exceptional support and the results are stunning.  Utilizing the latest discoveries and innovations of modern film production, The Director’s Edition delivers so much more today than was previously possible.  It’s an adventure you’ll never forget!”

The April 5 release date marks “First Contact Day,” the date in the 1996 film Star Trek: First Contact when the Vulcans first made contact with humans on April 5, 2063, near the town of Boseman, Mont.