hugely atrocious first film for the series
Drive-In Massacre - wrote on 12/23/09
Keep in mind this was the first thing I'd ever seen that included the original Star Trek crew, and I had already decided to watch all the films. So needless to say, I was scared. Anyone who has seen 2001: A Space Odyssey even once can tell that this is just a huge rip-off. Made even more disappointing that it's directed by the very gifted and versatile, Robert Wise who happened to have directed The Day the Earth Stood Still, The Haunting, The Sound of Music, West Side Story, and my personal favorite by him, The Body Snatcher...Out of all the people to direct a Star Trek film, Wise was hands-down the most talented. So it's a big surprise that he directed such a hugely atrocious first film for the series.
I can not begin to explain how boring I felt this film was. I've never fallen asleep during a movie, but I came DAMN close when I watched this one. After the first 600 minutes that consist exposition shots of the Enterprise, I pretty much had already given up hope. Also, for a film that is supposed to take place in the future it seems extremely dated. Dr. McCoy's first appearance in the film has him dressed in some sort of chest-baring polyester jacket, wearing a big gold medallion, and he has a big beard...I didn't know the Beegee's look would stay in popularity for 400 years. The whole look of the movie just feels inexplicably 1970's.
If anyone ever asks what my favorite movie is, I tell them it's '2001: A Space Odyssey'. So, on some level you might think I should like this movie for it's 2001-esque tone, but the movie is less flattery and more just stealing ideas from 2001 and making them not work at all. Actually, I'd probably watch Star Trek V again, before I ever re-watch this one. At least you can laugh at Star Trek V. However, I sort of appreciate what ST: The Motion Picture was trying to do.
For one, this was the first time you ever hear that great inspirational, epic score by Jerry Goldsmith. So you have to give it that, and at times you get these little glimpses of how the movie had potential in the direction it wanted to go... If there's one thing for sure, Wise is a better director than Shatner.