Star Trek: The Motion Picture ★★★★

What the rep of STAR TREK: THE MOTION PICTURE among serious Trek fans? I would venture that it's probably better than the overall consensus, which is that it's slow and not a whole lot happens. Which yeah, the naysayers aren't wrong precisely, but part of what I loved about the film when I watched it last night was how perverse this feels for a blockbuster. Do you think Paramount had any idea that when they gave Gene Roddenberry $35 million to make a big-budget STAR TREK movie that the cast would barely leave the bridge for the middle hour of the film? Or that the crew's uniforms would look like grey pajamas? Yet in some ways, it feels like the Trekkiest original-cast movie of all, in large part because it's so hyper-focused on the mission.

Hiring Robert Wise was inspired, because the story combines the knack for procedural cinema he demonstrated with THE ANDROMEDA STRAIN with the submarine-movie dynamics of RUN SILENT, RUN DEEP. Not only that, but there's a real sense of wonder and grandeur to this that the other movies lack. The effects are inconsistent (this is 1979, after all), but the V'Ger itself is jaw-dropping (they paid for Douglas Trumbull, and they got Douglas bloody Trumbull). And that Jerry Goldsmith score... holy crap. It's not just the iconic theme, which was reused to good effect by THE NEXT GENERATION. The whole thing is killer. WRATH OF KHAN might be the greatest TREK movie (it's just better at accomplishing its goals), but TMP deserves a hell of a lot more love.