My Two Cents
Tuesday, 05 April 2022 14:55

The Star Trek: The Motion Picture – Director’s Edition is a 4K triumph, plus new Shout!/Scream Blu-ray & 4K Ultra HD titles, and more

  • Print
  • Email

First things first this afternoon: I posted a review here at The Bits yesterday of John Sturges’ 1969 spaceflight drama Marooned on all-region import Blu-ray from the good folks at Imprint Films. It’s definitely worth tracking down for fans.

And I’ll have more new reviews this week as well, including my take on Criterion’s For All Mankind in 4K, which will be posted here on The Bits tomorrow.

Now then, let’s get to the main event for today’s My Two Cents update...

Last night I had the privilege of attending the debut screening of Robert Wise’s 4K-remastered Star Trek: The Motion Picture – Director’s Edition at Paramount, some 21 years after attending the premiere of the 2001 DVD version in the same theater. And I’m thrilled to report that it’s absolutely spectacular. [Read on here...]

CLICK HERE to BACK THE BITS in our fight to preserve Physical Media CLICK HERE to shop through our links and SUPPORT THE BITS CLICK HERE to visit The Bits on Facebook CLICK HERE to visit The Bits on Twitter

For the first time ever, this film feels whole, polished... finished. The 4K remastering is tremendous, done with an eye towards delivering to the screen every bit of detail present in the original negative, and done by people who know this film better than anyone. Much (though not all) of the original VistaVision and 65 mm VFX negative has been located and scanned in 6K or 8K resolution, which allowed the Director’s Edition team to re-composite many shots that had previously suffered from multiple generations of image loss and matte lines caused by optical printing. And seeing those shots projected on the big screen is nothing short of breathtaking. The film has finally been given a proper color grade, to restore the director’s intended look. There’s one completely new shot early in the film, and all of the revisited Director’s Edition VFX are lovely and well integrated. For the first time seeing this movie, one truly understands the internal geography of V’Ger. And the Director’s Edition scene additions and extensions round out the dramatic arcs and enhance character moments.

But I must tell you, every bit as good as the imagery is the new sound mix. My goodness! The DE team has found all kinds of original ADR recordings (including Wise’s preferred takes, a few of which never made it into the theatrical version), along with background dialogue, sound effects, and proper music cues. All of those have been digitally remastered from original recordings to create a clear, clean, robust, and unified soundscape. You’ll hear things in these scenes now that were always intended to be there, but which Wise and company never had time to include, or that simply got buried in the original and rushed 1979 sound mix. And Jerry Goldsmith’s magnificent score is presented with thrilling fidelity. I actually heard instrumentation in a few cues I’d never noticed before. I can’t wait to hear this in full Atmos (the theater on the Paramount lot is not so equipped).

Perhaps best of all, the film is now dedicated to its director. My thanks to our friends David C. Fein, Mike Matessino, Daren Dochterman, and Adam “Mojo” Lebowitz who started this journey with Robert Wise 22 years ago and have finally crossed the finish line. Congratulations to all of you on a job well done! Bob would definitely be proud.

David C. Fein introduces the Star Trek: The Motion Picture - Director's Edition at Paramount on 4/4/2022.

Thanks also to Alan Meier and everyone at Paramount Home Entertainment and Paramount+ for the event and for finally making the 4K remastering of this film a reality.

I should also take a moment to add here that the packed screening was a blast for other reasons too. It was almost overwhelming to see so many old friends in once place at the same time after two years of COVID lockdowns and cancelled conventions and other events. It seemed if half the people I know in this industry were there, including Star Trek luminaries like Michael and Denise Okuda, Doug Drexler, David Gerrold, and others. There were just so many friends to catch up with that it was impossible to spend adequate time with each of them. But it was sure great to try. Hundreds of happy people left the theater, I can tell you. And the fun for some of us actually began earlier. My wife Sarah, our dear friend Ed Peters, and I went for dinner before attending the screening, and just as we’d sat down in the restaurant, who should walk in but my friends Robert Meyer Burnett and David Hargrove. And then a few minutes later Scott Mantz came as well. As you might imagine, an enthusiastic Trek discussion ensued before we all headed over to the Paramount lot.

It truly was a fun evening. And the Director’s Edition is a marvel. It’s now streaming in 4K with HDR and Dolby Atmos on Paramount+ and it will be released on physical 4K Ultra HD and Blu-ray Disc in September. I can’t wait for all of you to see it. By the way, Paramount has now posted the trailer in full 4K trailer on YouTube, so I thought I’d include that for you all to see here...

We’ve got just a couple of other news items for you today, but they’re good ones...

Shout! and Scream Factory have unveiled their June slate, which is set to include re-issues of the Studio Ghibli titles The Tale of The Princess Kaguya and Only Yesterday (both on Blu-ray from GKids via Shout!), along with the Sesame Street title Getting Ready with Elmo: Potty Time Plus (DVD), and Makoto Shinkai’s 5 Centimeters Per Second, Children Who Chase Lost Voices, and The Place Promised in Our Early Days (again, all on Blu-ray from GKids via Shout!) on 6/7, followed by Herzog: The Collection – Volume 2 (Blu-ray, includes Signs of Life, The Great Ecstasy of Woodcarver Steiner, How Much Wood Would a Woodchuck Chuck, La Soufrière, God’s Angry Man, Huie’s Sermon, The Dark Glow of the Mountains, Herdsman of the Sun, Echoes from a Somber Empire, Wheel of Time, and The Wild Blue Yonder) and Dog Soldiers (4K Ultra HD) on 6/14, When Calls the Heart: Like a Lion/Turn of the Page (DVD), Fire in the Sky (Blu-ray), and The Funhouse (4K Ultra HD) on 6/21, and finally Cat People (4K Ultra HD) on 6/28. Specific AV details and extras on the 4K titles are still TBA.

And Kino Lorber Studio Classics has set John Ford’s The Horse Soldiers (1959), a double feature of The Mysterious Dr. Fu Manchu (1929) and The Return of Dr. Fu Manchu (1930), and Curt Siodmak’s Love Slaves of the Amazons (1957) for release on Blu-ray on 6/14. Also coming soon from the company are a collection of William Nigh’s Mr. Wong, Detective (1938), The Mystery of Mr. Wong (1939), Mr. Wong in Chinatown (1939), The Fatal Hour (1940), and Doomed to Die (1940), and a Film Noir: The Dark Side of Cinema IX box set that includes Lady on a Train (1945), Tangier (1946), and Take One False Step (1949).

We’ll leave you today with a look at the cover artwork for some of the Shout/Scream titles mentioned above, all of which are now available for pre-order on Amazon by clicking on the covers...

Cat People (4K Ultra HD) Dog Soldiers (4K Ultra HD) The Funhouse (4K Ultra HD)

5 Centimeters Per Second (Blu-ray Disc) The Place Promised in Our Early Days (Blu-ray Disc) Children Who Chase Lost Voices (Blu-ray Disc)

Back tomorrow with more. Stay tuned!

(You can follow Bill on social media at these links: Twitter and Facebook)



Contact Bill Hunt

Please type your full name.
Invalid email address.
Please send us a message.
Invalid Input