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Star Trek: The Original Motion Picture Collection
BLU-RAY disk
06.02.2009 By: Sturdy
Star Trek: The Original Motion Picture Collection order
Robert Wise, Nicholas Meyer

William Shatner
Leonard Nimoy
DeForest Kelley


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Star Trek: The Motion Picture: Captain Kirk assumes command of the Starship Enterprise to head off an impending attack from an unknown energy force.

Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan: An old enemy returns to seek vengeance against Captain Kirk.

Star Trek III: The Search for Spock: The crew of the Enterprise goes on a daring mission to properly bury Spock.

Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home: The crew must travel back in time to save a couple of whales in order for them to communicate with an alien ship.

Star Trek V: The Final Frontier : A rogue Vulcan captures the Enterprise and forces them to travel beyond their expected limits.

Star Trek: The Undiscovered Country : Kirk and his crew are given one last mission before they stand down. But things do not go well when theyíre framed for killing a Klingon diplomat.
I was excited to review this collection because I think Iíll be able to offer a unique look at the classic Star Trek films because Iíve never seen one, nor have I seen a single episode of the original series. So this review isnít based on feelings of nostalgia or an endearing love of campy sci-fi; Iím actually looking at these films as movies, not symbols of what I wish they were.

Star Trek: The Motion Picture 2.5/5: This was actually close to being a great film. Unfortunately, it was about 45 minutes too long. The story wasnít anything special, but with the crew back together and audiences finally seeing their beloved characters, I understand the appeal. Unfortunately, the directing and editing were tiresome and we get a five minute ďlove shotĒ of the Starship Enterprise that was so long, it almost pushed me to fast forward through it.

It was also difficult because this film wasnít an origin story and it wasnít created to draw in new fans. They didnít pause to explain anything, we just jump in and follow the characters, all the while the filmmakers assumed we had seen the original series. I found that odd because itís risky to do that today, even with DVDís and Blu-rays so readily available, but doing that back in the 70ís was an even greater gamble. Itís not like people could go watch the show on DVD to catch up before going to the theater. But I digress. The point is that this film was too long and too slow to be a first film in a series.

Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan 3/5: This one was better because I didnít feel like they were looking for an excuse to get everyone together. It almost felt as if they had a real story. The drama with Kirk and his rank continued to get old, but I thought they did a fine job of creating a villain that was driven by an unwavering hatred of our hero. However, I didnít think they did a good job of making him imposing enough. I was never concerned that Kirk had met his match because I didnít really see examples of Khanís abilities, I just kept hearing how intelligent he was.

By this time, Iíve picked up on the fact that Kirk doesnít really do anything spectacular to outwit his opponents, he just lucks out because all of his villains are dumb. I donít say that to be mean, Iím just pointing out that the screenwriters arenít trying to wow you with their knowledge of tactical maneuvers. Itís something I eventually accepted, but the campiness is something new fans have to get used to. However, I enjoyed Khan much more than the original and it was nice to see the Enterprise crew up against a decent opponent.

Star Trek III: The Search for Spock 2.5/5: This film was frustrating to me because I thought they had a chance to dive into the Vulcan world and chose not to. Iím sure there are a lot of people like me that feel Spock and the Vulcan race are part of the more interesting elements of Star Trek and I found it strange that they didnít explore their culture more. It was rough enough that we went a whole movie without the second lead star, but to not take the time to explore all the customs and myths surrounding the race was strange.

I did like the renegade angle the crew of the Enterprise took. I thought that gave a sense of urgency to what was going on, even though I thought they missed a chance to make the film more intense. It would have been better to have Starfleet and the Klingons chase them with several ships, all the while Kirk having to evade capture.

Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home 2.5/5: At least at this point, theyíre not taking themselves seriously anymore. The banter between Kirk and Spock was what was missing in the first three and it really adds something to the film when these two are hitting on all cylinders. The time travel element was a bit much, but if Superman can do it, I guess the Enterprise can too.

But even though all the elements were there for this to be very cheesy, I thought they actually pulled it off. I liked the story and the ďsave the earthĒ tone the movie had fits in nicely with whatís going on today. It was also fun to see the crew interact with ďregularĒ people, but Iím glad they didnít make the whole movie one giant, time traveling joke.

Star Trek V: The Final Frontier 2/5: The humor and banter between Kirk and Spock returns, but this time the story is a bit off. I liked the idea of someone taking over the Enterprise and the crew challenged with regaining control, but the whole thing felt too easy for me. These are beloved characters that fans have been following for decades; they need something better than to be taken over by a Vulcan carrying a rock-gun.

However, the idea of them going on a search for God is a very good scenario. But I would have also liked for there to be some kind of explanation for what they encountered. Obviously, it wasnít God, but he/it was still a cool entity nonetheless. A quick summary of who/what he was could have been cool.

Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country 3/5: I know this is borderline blasphemous, but I enjoyed this film more than any of the previous five. I know every other critic says Khan was the best, but I have to disagree. Country had better character arcs, more intensity and better dialogue than any of the other Star Trek films. Itís sad, but right when the characters hit their stride, they retire.

I also liked how we see more of a casual Kirk. Heís under pressure, but he seems to be calmer about it than in his previous adventures. Surprisingly, this film does the best to actually create drama and peril, which is something I didnít get a lot of from the other Trek movies.
Thereís a lot of stuff on this collection, some of it rehashed from previous releases, but a lot of it is new.

Each disc contains a new Commentary track . For me, the highlight of all the tracks was on IV with Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman. As you may or may not know, theyíre the writers of Abramsí Star Trek and it was fun to listen to them talk about IV. The other tracks arenít bad, but theyíre more for the hardcore Trek fans.

Each disc also contains about 30 minutes worth of Featurettes. Obviously, some are better than others, but most of them are too short to amount to anything and after sitting through them, I think they would have been better served editing them together into a long documentary or extended featurette. They cover just about everything Trek related, including the Trek hall of fame, a tribute to Ricardo Montalban, a NASA-Trek tribute and even a rendition of Hamlet in Klingon. Like I said; everything you could want.

Library Computer: Each disc also contains a trivia track feature that will scroll various trivia facts across the screen as you watch. Itís cool, but again, this is for hardcore trekkies.

The Captainís Summit (70:00): I found everything else on the disc to be geared towards Trekkies more than fans, until this. Shatner, Nimoy, Stewart and Frakes all sit down to discuss everything Trek related. Itís very casual, but they open up about their experiences in the Star Trek universe and itís a joy to listen to. These guys are great and thereís so much experience between them that thereís never a dull moment. Iím not sure why Whoopie Goldberg was there, but she moderated things and kept it going.

There are some Previews . Actually, there are only two previews, each repeated on every disc.
I would love to tell you this collection is perfect, but itís not. There are some transfer issues and the directorís cuts of the films arenít included. That, of course, means there are some commentary tracks missing as well. However, if you can get this on sale, I think itís a worthy addition to your collection, especially for Star Trek fans.
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