Movie (1979) – The Hollywood Reporter

On December 7, 1979, Paramount’s Star Trek – The Motion Picture hit theaters and kicked off the franchise on the big screen. The series reunites the cast of the CBS series that earned three Academy Award nominations (for art direction, original score, and visual effects) at the 52nd Academy Awards. Here’s the original review. by Hollywood Reporter:

There is no mistake about it, Star Trek is a big movie – big in scale, big in spectacle and most importantly great in entertainment value. Trekkies will be happy to hear that almost all of their favorite characters are back in their original roles (with the welcome addition of sexy Persis Khambatta as the Navigator); while the Enterprise itself, which had apparently sat in the shoal for many years, has now been rebuilt and expanded to unimaginable levels – unthinkable, with the exception of the maker Gene, of course. Roddenberry and the special effects teams were assembled by Douglas Trumbull and John Dykstra (who is curiously not recognized in official Paramount press materials).

What was given? Star Trek Its enduring appeal on the small screen is not a sense of endless exploration – not just about the vastness of space, but also about the exploration of cosmological values ​​that are enriching and admirable. our human grave. Star Trek – The Motion PicturI also consider this to be its central purpose. Beyond the visual splendor and screen-breaking disasters, the standard fare of today’s sci-fi epics, there’s a theme that finds its culmination in a statement that’s profoundly difficult but certain. still repeat – that love combined with understanding can create a universal harmony.

As the film opens, an unknown force with tremendous power that can disintegrate both humans and machines is heading towards Earth. The refurbished business, not even having time to make a journey, is ordered to go into operation to intercept and destroy this new enemy. Captain Kirk (William Shatner) is once again in command – to the intense displeasure of Commander Decker (Stephen Collins), who believes he will, and should, be held accountable. One by one, Kirk is joined by his former allies – Spock (Leonard Nimoy), Dr. McCoy (DeForest Kelley), Scotty (James Doohan) and Sulu (George Takei) – as the ship travels through space to towards its destiny.

The evidence of the aggressor’s destructive power was astounding. The giant airships were engulfed in a blue, crackling energy wave, then disappeared without a trace. It affects and reverses electrical systems on the Enterprise, possibly paralyzing individuals or causing them to disappear. Aware of these overwhelming odds, Kirk decided not to fight what he couldn’t even see, but to try to communicate for the sake of communication. And, as it turns out, that’s exactly what the enemy is trying to do (albeit crudely).

Obviously, this provides a field day for the special effects people; and while I’m not sure about the purchasing power of $40 million at today’s inflated prices, it’s money well spent. Star Trek maybe lack of magic weapon of Star Wars or the great splendor of Close the meeting The mammoth mothership, but it shares their sense of wonder at the technological wonders ahead and the vastness of unexplored universes. And its models are models of ingenuity.

The screenplay by Harold Livingston is a bit underwhelming, the movie often seems to be addicted to talking too much about the skinny people we should be watching, which tends to make the movie seem longer than its 132 minutes. And while Robert Wise’s direction keeps human action moving fast enough, he has an annoying way of letting his characters see out into outer space phenomena with a single “” mo gollicky!” expressions that are strangely at odds with their supposed experience and subtlety. I like to think that if it doesn’t stick to the predetermined deadline of December 7th, Wise will cut another 10 minutes of his movie.

But I’m not complaining. This Star Trek is truly a spectacular work (or a truly breathtaking epic), reflecting Hollywood’s highest level of lauded professionalism in every department, from Jerry Goldsmith’s resounding scores to photography. Richard Kline’s wide-ranging photography to Harold Michelson’s eye-catching production design, brilliantly solve the common problem of making full-scale sets look as if they actually fit multiple models. Figure. – Arthur Knight, first published December 10, 1979.

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