A nerd should always have time to re-watch Star Trek movies.Star Trek: The Motion Picture (Director's Edition)Kirk gets lost in space while looking for the nearest Trek convention.
To be honest, I remember this movie being absolutely dreadful. Still, when I heard of the Director's Edition, which updates some of the FX and trims the editing, I knew I had to give it a chance.
Basically, the problem with "The Motion Picture" is that it's not "Star Trek" at all, but some half-baked "2001" knock off, which just by chance has characters named kirk, Spock and so on. Really, that's about it. The good news is despite this the film (or at least this restored print) is quite enjoyable... once the first 45 minutes in which absolutely nothing happens are through.
The script is rather short in ideas and falls apart before the credits roll, but on the other hand you have a top notch image and music experience. Which, ironically, may be the most realistic approach to a film about space exploration. Hell, even Robert Wise manages to film a couple of great scenes and to give them some kind of tension. They are the failed teleportation of some crew members and Spock's spacewalk.
But of course the main defects of the film are still there in all its glory. I found specially infuriating the series of dialogues on board of the Enterprise. The have no tension at all, and the acting gives new meanings to the word wooden. Really, they talk about lots of important stuff the way people talk about brands of coffee after a meal. Boooooring.
But then, if you can abstract (or teleport) yourself out of those scenes and focus on the visuals and Jerry Goldsmith's majestic score, it's a must see. That's not the case, however, with the original version. I'd rather listen to William Shatner's rendition of "Hit me baby one more time".Star Trek II: The Wrath of KhanKHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAANNNNN!!!!!
A lot of changes were made by the time the second Star Trek movie was released, and most of them were possitive.
First of all, let me say that Nicholas Meyer is overrated. Alright, I agree his "Star Trek" output is easily among the best in the series, but there's ample proof that he's not exactly as talented as Trekkies sustain. To be exact, all his other non-Trek movies.
But anyway, we should thank him, because despite the brutal cuts in budget and the aging actors "Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan" manages to solve most of the problems of its predecesor. First of all, it is "Star Trek". Which is something, really. And then the acting is much better. Not that all is fine and dandy (Kirk's "Khan" moment had me cracking up), but at least Kirk is no longer the ice cold annoying bastard he was in "The Motion Picture". He is far more humanised, and the script even provides some discernible conflicts he has to solve before the credits roll.
Anyway, the piece of resistance here is Ricardo Montalban. He's easily the best villain in the series. Not only he gets the chance to outsmart Kirk a few times, but at the same time he's so flamboyant and over the top that he delivers the cheese whenever that's required. And it is required, as the exchanges between the other characters are rather dry. He's a hoot to watch, and some of his lines are instant quotes. Great stuff, really, even when he's delivering expository stuff to a bewildered Chejov.
As for Nicholas Meyer... he does an OK job, but not a memorable one. I liked the way he made Kirk look like an ancient sailor a la Nelson, although a few times he was pushing it too far, like when Kirk visits the sick bay after the first battle. My real problem with Meyer, however, is his camerawork, I expected something more dinamic, and instead he uses too many static shots. These work well on certain moments, like the battle in the nebula (it's sort of refreshing to see a battle where you can actually tell what's going on), but in other moments it only made more evident the poor dialogue and the cheapness of the settings.
And now, as promised, William Shatner and "Hit me baby one more time":