Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979)
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.
as Admiral James T. Kir...
as Mr. Spock
as Dr. Leonard 'Bones' ...
as Cmdr. Montgomery 'Sc...
as Cmdr. Willard Decker
as Dr. Christine Chapel
as Klingon Captain
as Alien Boy
as Janice Rand
as Epsilon Technician
as Airlock Technician
as Cmdr. Branch
as Assistant to Rand
as Ltd. Cmdr. Sonak
as Cargo Deck Ensign
as Chief DiFalco
as Chief Ross
as Lt. Cleary
as Crew Member
as Crew Member
as Crew Member
as Crew Member
as Crew Member
as Klingon Crewman
as Klingon Crewman
as Klingon Crewman
as Vulcan Master
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Critic Reviews for Star Trek: The Motion Picture
Star Trek's freshman big screen effort was crippled by a plodding pace and a somber tone.
If the endless interstellar vistas of 2001: A Space Odyssey tested your patience, Star Trek: The Motion Picture will make you cry like a little star child.
a little too boring
As an exploration of the loneliness of a unique machine consciousness, great! As an exciting SF experience, maybe not.
The expensive effects (under supervision of Douglas Trumbull) are the secret of this film, and the amazing wizardry throughout would appear to justify the whopping budget.
Director Robert Wise has no feeling for Trek's pop insouciance, and the movie unfolds ponderously.
This 1979 movie adaptation of the cult TV series is blandness raised to an epic scale.
For non-addicts, the smart plot and effects go some way towards compensating for the plastic characters and costumes.
The long, majestic scene in which Scotty (James Doohan) takes Kirk in a shuttle toward the refurbished Enterprise is still breathtaking.
A disappointing segement of the series
[It's] like attending your high-school class's 10th reunion at Caesar's Palace. Most of the faces are familiar, but the décor has little relationship to anything you've ever seen before.
Often unfairly maligned because it's slow and contemplative, but has some real ideas behind it.
Ponderously long, yes; but it was and still is a true movie event.
Star Trek-The Motion Picture is a smart sc-fi thriller whose fascinating characters and thought-provoking plot are emphasized more than special effects.
You've heard the about the curse of the odd-numbered Star Trek films. It REALLY applies to this one.
Audience Reviews for Star Trek: The Motion Picture
To think this this film came out when I was just one year old, just like Star Wars which came out a year before I was born, makes me think...my God Jim...I'm old!
I've never been a huge Star Trek fan and never will be in all honesty. I did always enjoy the films with the original classic crew but never got into any of the TV series, especially the new stuff. I always preferred the Star Wars franchise for many reasons but mainly because it always looked so superior in virtually every department. This first Trek movie really does show the difference between the two franchises which both appeared in the same era, not taking anything away from Star Trek but it always did look more fake and plastic looking.
The effects in this first movie are a mixed bag really. The sequences towards the finale inside V'Ger don't look too bad (nice 2001-esque fantasy lighting effects), various spaceship shots look nice throughout and the costumes although drab don't age too badly. For the most part this film has aged badly if we're brutally honest about it, I don't wanna keep comparing it to Star Wars but there is a clear difference in quality which still stands to this day.
What I did always like about Trek was the way it tries to be realistic or at least approach things in a realistic fashion. I'm Not sure if they are merely homaging or copying '2001' but you can clearly see the influences in one sequence as we are treated to a grandiose panorama of the [i]Enterprise[/i] as she sits in her docking bay accompanied by a stirring Trek instrumental score. This epic approach is a far cry from the flashbang blaster fire and roaring starcruisers of a certain George Lucas affair. Star Trek is definitely aiming at the grown-ups here, the real sci-fi enthusiasts who name Kubrick's space opus as their holy bible...which Wise clearly did too.
I do like the way Wise gave the film a slow pace. Lots of character and background building alongside plenty of mission dialog and technical problems that might occur in reality for such a scenario. Its all classic Star Trek as you would remember from the original series but on a sexier scale with props that actually do look kinda real. In fact there's even more politically correct...goody two-shoes...prime directive...Federation type babble than you can wave a stick at, and Shatner loves his speeches.
The film was criticised for this slow unadventurous style but personally I like it, its one of the more realistic Trek movies offering exactly what you got with the original TV series...but prettier. I still to this day don't really understand why some folk (even Trek fans) don't like it. The main aspect of this film I like is the plot, yes the plot. Seems straight forward enough as the team are sent to intercept a mysterious alien phenomena heading towards earth, but I liked how the plot has its intriguing twist at the end. Again just like the classic show you get the danger and mystery with a cute little twist to keep you on your toes. Its not groundbreaking but it just makes you think a little, right up to the very end you're unsure what the hell will happen. How Kirk will save the day and what's the deal behind the alien cloud thing, that's good story telling right there methinks.
The continuity from the TV show to the big screen was handled well I thought although I'm no Trek expert. You have all the crew doing what they are best at of course, some new crews members (redshirt fodder perhaps?), plenty of well known typical Trek visuals and sounds, the crew handle most of the action from the ships bridge via the good old big screen on the wall and the [i]Enterprise[/i] looks slick with a bit of spit n polish to tart it up for the big screen.
Sure its not an in your face phaser fest with hand to hand fights against large lizard men but I for one thought the serious route was a good way to go. The film is more of an exploration adventure, it takes its time, slowly builds up, lots of space jargon...you don't know what their on about half the time but it just sounds good...I use my realism card again. It feels like a point n click strategic adventure game for your PC...I guess?
One of the oddest things when you think about it was the fact Wise directed this. You tend to remember Robert Wise for the Hollywood epics 'The Sound of Music' and 'West Side Story' which are two of the greatest musicals ever made probably. So its kinda funny to think he directed the first Star Trek movie, then again he did direct 'The Andromeda Strain' and 'The Day the Earth Stood Still' so he did have some good sci-fi experience.
Overall the special effects look fuzzy in places, lots of beige colour schemes going on with the ship and crew, plenty of nasty bluescreen evident I'm afraid...but its still very enjoyable sci-fi. Star Trek has its own little niche of being semi-serious and approaching everything logically but still utilising just enough fantasy to make it a charming pleasant ride.
The first Star Trek film directed by Robert Wise manages to capture the vibe of the TV show and offer fans a good two hours of entertainment. Although, this film isn't a classic by any means, it's still enjoyable for what it is. There has been far better science fiction film, but this first film in the Star Trek franchise is quite good despite the fact that it does show its age. With this film, director Robert Wise crafts something entertaining, a film that has a good storyline, impressive performances and an effective mix of action and thrills. Fans of the show will surely enjoy this picture, and it's an effective continuation of what Gene Roddenberry accomplished with his show. I enjoyed this film, but like I said, it looks dated and the effects on-screen don't hold up too well. Nonetheless it's still an effective, entertaining Sci Fi film, one that should be seen by genre fans looking for a well constructed film. The sequel;, Wrath of Kahn would definitely improve on the elements that are lacking within the film, but as it is, Star Trek: The Motion Picture is entertaining from start to finish, but as a whole, it does leave a bit to be desired, which is what the follow up would improve upon. I must admit, I never was big into Star Trek, but I enjoyed this film and I felt that director Robert Wise, of whom I've enjoyed his previous work, is well suited to tackle this first big screen outing of the classic show. Despite the fact that I don't believe that this film is a genre classic, as it really didn't break new grounds in the genre, this film will surely appeal to viewers that are looking for a good Science Fiction film to watch.More
The first in the long running movie franchise was a huge departure from the ethos of the series it was based upon, and as such disappointed the majority of fans who were expecting more of the same kitsch hi-jinx and polystyrene sets that endeared themselves to so many. The Motion Picture prefers to take its cues from more grandiose, epic sci-fi tales such as 2001: A Space Odyssey and although its inspirations are very obvious, it does very well in capturing a sense of awe and wonder that space exploration (at least used to) conjures up. The stars of the show are most certainly the pairing of SFX legends Trumbull and Dykstra and the visuals of this film are still astonishing to this day, and the addition of Jerry Goldsmith's suitably operatic score makes the original Trek film an audio-visual feast. The ponderous pace of the film will certainly put a lot of the Abrams generation off, but it is littered with many lovely character moments that are done with a lot more subtlety and sophistication than the increasingly silly and kitsch sequels, and Leonard Nimoy's Spock once more dominates the proceedings as his inner struggle with his emotions is echoed by the mysterious machine that threatens them. The plot is simple but clever and effective and the art design alone makes this film well worth the watch. It won't be to the taste of action junkies but those with a penchant for cerebral sci-fi can't fail to enjoy what for me is still amongst the very best of the Star Trek franchise.More
I have to admit, I've never really been a "Star Trek" fan. It's always seemed boring to me, and over my head. Heck, most sci-fi is, except the big alien invasion movies. Not sure what it is, the just don't really do much for me. However, when the J.J. Abrams reboot came out a few years back, I gave it a chance and loved it. With the sequel coming up, I figured I would go back and watch some of the old movies to get a grasp on "Star Trek" as a whole and see if I missed something and missed out, or if it's still just not for me. I was told by a true Trekkie to just start with the second movie, and he was probably right. But, my OCD prevailed and I started with number one. This first movie is horrible. If I were a Trek fan when this was released(1979) I would have been furious and may have given up altogether. It's long(just over 2 hours) and very boring. I understand "Trek" is more hardcore sci-fi than other movies/shows, but this is ridiculous. It's pretty much everyone on the enterprise sitting and talking the entire movie. At some point you need action, and this movie fails to deliver it. As for the acting, it's not all bad, because the characters are interesting and Kirk(William Shatner) is pretty funny. Shatner is easily the best thing about the movie, and if not for him and his charisma, this would be a complete waste. Also, this movie is very dated, and time has not been kind to it at all. I plan on watching more because I've heard it gets a lot better, but this is a horrible first movie for any franchiseMore
Star Trek: The Motion Picture Quotes
- James T. Kirk:
- What it needs in order to evolve is a human quality. Our capacity to leap beyond logic.
- Leonard "Bones" McCoy:
- Spock, this 'child' is about to wipe out every living thing on Earth. Now, what do you suggest we do? Spank it?
- James T. Kirk:
- Warp drive, Mister Scott!
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