Sunday, February 15, 2009

Star Trek 1: The Motion Picture (1979)

Director: Robert Wise

Starring: William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, and all the rest

More Info: IMDB

Tagline: The human adventure is just beginning

Plot: Plot? There's a plot? When a destructive space entity is spotted approaching Earth, Admiral Kirk resumes command of the Starship Enterprise in order to intercept, examine, and hopefully stop it.

My Rating: 5/10

Would I watch it again? I'm definitely on the fence about that one

This looks like something badass is about to happen, right? WRONG!

I'm not a Trekkie. I really enjoyed the original show and I used to watch it after school in the 70s but that's about it. Of the subsequent spin-offs, I watched the series premiere of TNG and DS9. I enjoyed them but I'm not much of a TV watcher so getting bogged down by another series, at that time at least, was not really an option. With the new film coming out this year I thought it'd be a good time to dust them off and watch all of them again. After ST4, I've only seen the films once and one not at all.

The last time I saw this one was probably in the mid-80s as a teen and I remember it being light on action and heavy on the...uh...non-action. I could not have prepared myself for how slow this really is. I kept falling asleep. Man, I was trying, too. I it. The DVD authors didn't help by playing the cruel joke of putting more action in the DVD menus than there was in the film.

Bones looks like he's about to imbibe in some hippie action, right? WRONG! That would imply someone or something mooooving. No time for that here.

I suppose if you followed the show during its initial TV run and you waited patiently for ten years for something to materialize, then this was probably two hours of bliss. You most likely sat there savoring every second of the 8 minutes it took to reach the Enterprise in the docking bay. For everyone else it was hours. I will most likely give this one another chance before deserting it forever in favor of the gazillions of films I've yet to see.

Kirk looks like something badass is about to happen, right? WRONG!

There is one thing that I will cherish from this film until the day I stop breathing and that's Jerry Goldsmith's gorgeous score, specifically Ilia's theme. Since I was a kid I've been an avid collector of soundtracks and this is one that has gotten A LOT of play over the years with Ilia's theme on even heavier rotation. I've heard it so many times I could probably write it out on manuscript paper note for note. An interesting aside...Alexander Courage, the composer of the original TV theme and some of the episodes, for many years was Goldsmith's orchestrator throughout the 70s, 80s and 90s!

"Nothing compares 2 U"

I may give this one a final chance in a few years and I will make sure that I am well rested and mentally prepared. I've recently heard this referred to as STAR TREK: THE MOTIONLESS PICTURE. That nails it. But at least they made up for it with the next film in the series, and boy did they ever!

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