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Neil Middlemiss

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Paramount and CBS Studios deliver, at long last, the first four Star Trek cinematic adventures on Ultra High-Definition disc for the first time. The results won’t vault these films to your ‘showcase collection’ for what 4K can do, there’s far too much going on with the source material for that – including the notoriously rushed effects work for The Motion Picture – but what it does deliver is as close as I have ever seen of what these films are supposed to look like, flaws and all. There are moments where the image is of such brilliant quality that you’ll marvel at the clarity and color density and black levels and color balance. The 4K look of some of the optical effects is less forgiving, but that’s no reason not to embrace this collection as the best these films have looked, perhaps even than the quality of the original theatrical presentations, at least for II, III and IV.



Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979)



Released: 08 Dec 1979...

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Bryan^H

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Not sure when how long it will take to arrive or when I'll get to watch it after it does but the reviews I've read certainly make me want to check these out.

I've never seen Star Trek III or IV before so half this set is new to me. :)
IV was the first Trek movie I ever saw, and it still stands as my favorite. Love the sci-fi plot, and humor. I can't wait to hear how you feel about it.
 

Nelson Au

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Thanks for the great review Neil! Noting your post in the Star Trek thread, I did see a few typos. :). I imagine you were pushing hard to see each disc to do this write up as quickly as you could. :). Thanks for the effort!

There is one thing you said and other reviewers I’ve read have been saying about The Motion Picture and why in the last 20 years and more so in the last decade, that for me it’s the best film in the series. It’s very measured in its pacing, though of course, Wise didn’t get to fine tune the edit. But more so for me, it’s simply the epic nature that the film has. It had the budget and a serious science fiction idea. It had a big idea that was new at the time. So while Star Trek 2 does bring the characters back to form, the other films just didn’t have the same impressive epic feel. I loved Wrath of Khan when it came out and was super excited to see it and to see it over and over. Each new Star Trek film became an event where the day was planned to see the first showing the first day. But over time, The Motion Picture just has more depth to chew on.

By the way Neil, I don’t think you made any comments about the color grading of TMP. Maybe I missed it. If the iTunes version is any indication, I thought the remaster looked very warm compared to the old blu ray. And I‘d guess it is what it is supposed to look like. I thought it looks great. I’d be curious if RAH comments on the remastering and look of the effort made to restore The Motion Picture.

I hope to get my set soon!
 

Martin Dew

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Excellent, detailed review, Neil. I totally agree with your comments about The Motion Picture. I also saw it for the first time in the UK in 1979 and it's still my personal favorite despite its misgivings. Robert Wise was a master of marrying images to music, and you don't get much 'higher-concept' than what this film offers. My set is arriving this week from the US.
 

Konstantinos

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Disappointing that there is no original audio (if I understand correctly).
Do we know if these 7.1 mixes feature new sound effects?
 

Kyle_D

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It looks like this may be another 4K set impacted by supply chain bottlenecks. I pre-ordered on Amazon the day it was announced, but I still don't have a ship date, and Amazon is now listing it as Temporarily Out of Stock. I'm having the same issue with The Thing.
 

Josh Steinberg

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I don’t think so. I’ve been living with these mixes since 2009 so it’s been ages since I’ve heard the original ones but at the time nothing seemed untoward. To my ear, it appears they went back to the original stems and just repurposed the existing material to fit within the newer industry standard 7.1 container. It doesn’t sound as if the mixes have been redesigned or re-recorded with new elements.

The only exception to that that I’m aware of is the DVD of the Director’s Edition of TMP, which features a new sound design that removes or plays down a lot of the harsher sounding computer voices in the background throughout the film. Presumably the 4K Director’s Edition coming next year will also feature a revised sound design, but I don’t have an issue with this as the goal of that project has never been fidelity to the original theatrical release.
 

Josh Steinberg

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It’s not just Amazon on this title - no one seems to actually have it in stock, and review copies went out late too. Replication capacity issues + pandemic supply and logistics issues + Hurricane Ida related transportation issues.
 

Bryan^H

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It’s not just Amazon on this title - no one seems to actually have it in stock, and review copies went out late too. Replication capacity issues + pandemic supply and logistics issues + Hurricane Ida related transportation issues.
True, but I've been getting this kind of service for years before the pandemic.
 

Josh Steinberg

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There have been plenty of times when Amazon has had petty squabbles with suppliers and left their customers to bear the brunt of it - no argument from me on that point!
 

dpippel

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It’s not just Amazon on this title - no one seems to actually have it in stock, and review copies went out late too. Replication capacity issues + pandemic supply and logistics issues + Hurricane Ida related transportation issues.
Mine shipped out today from Bull Moose.
 

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