Thursday, November 17, 2011

Day 321: Star Trek The Motion Picture (1979)

G, 2 hr. 23 min.  Directed by: Robert Wise.  Release Date: December 7, 1979.  DVD Release Date: November 6, 2001. 

Do you ever see a movie that's so bad, that even with an ending that presupposes a sequel, your first reaction is "hell no, a sequel will never see the light of day."  For me, if I had seen this in 1979, that would have been my thought.  I'm a moderate Star Trek fan with the occasional obsessive tendency, where I'll watch half the series or follow one of those marathons on Spike.  But, I'm not enough of a fan to overlook the horror that was Star Trek:  The Motion Picture.

A frequent complaint of mine when television shows break into film is that the film in question feels like a long episode.  In this case, the episode was too long, too dumb, and didn't seem to take into account anything that had ever been used to make Star Trek in the past.  I suspect this has to do with the fact that the director of this movie was completely unfamiliar with the series before taking on this project.  I've seen this movie spoofed more than once, most recently in a Futurama episode in which the Voyager space probe combines with an FCC censorship satellite to make V-GINY, a sentient artificial intelligence bent on censoring the planet Earth.  The episode was nearly as bad as this movie.

Even the cast seemed unsure of what to do, and these were roles they had played for a long time, although it had been a long time since they'd last worn these costumes (as evidenced by the significant new girth on Scotty), it wasn't like any of them were overly burgeoned by a career in the intervening years.  T.J. Hooker doesn't count.

You can be a fan and never watch this movie.  You won't miss a thing.  Remember the mantra:  even numbered Treks don't suck.