Musings & Thoughts for Wednesday, September 7, 2022, or: Summer Doesn’t Want to Go Away; Paramount’s New ‘Star Trek’ Box Set is On Its Way…But NOT at Warp Speed


This is the only good side effect of hot summer weather…..Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

Another (Hot) Day in “Paradise”

Well, here we are at midweek on Wednesday, September 7, 2022, one week into meteorological fall – the more traditional astronomical fall doesn’t start till Thursday, September 22 – and it’s still hellishly hot here in Lithia, Florida. It’s not even midday – as I write this, anyway – and although the actual temperature is 85°F/30°C, the heat index (or “feels-like temperature”) is 92°F/34°C.

Not the view from my window! Photo by Nathan Cowley on Pexels.com

It’s bright, sunny, and scorching hot outside – I can tell by the amount of light that “bleeds” through the closed blinds and drawn drapes in my room – and I can feel waves of heat seeping through the wall and onto the hardwood floor underneath my stocking feet. So even though we are nearing the fall equinox and the dry season is just around the corner, summer is hanging on tenaciously like one of those pesky Soviet motor rifle platoons in Regiments.

Not the view from my window, either! Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

Ah, well. It’s not like I must go outside, not even to take a trash bag out to the garbage can like I did at my old Miami townhouse from 1978 to 2016. Here, we keep the garbage and recycling bins in the garage till Pickup Days – Tuesdays for trash, Saturdays for trash and recycling – so the few times that I’ve taken bagged trash from my wastebasket to the trash bin outdoors have been when the “kids” – who are all in their 20s now – “forget” to retrieve the tall plastic gray-black bin after Pickup Day and just leave it out in front of the garage. Thus, because they’d done this a few times over the summer, I have had a taste of how torrid the summer heat is beyond the confines of my air-conditioned digs.

A view of my former neighborhood, taken in the summer of 2014. (Photo by the author)

Anyway, yeah…we are still stuck in a typical “summer weather” pattern – hot, sunny mornings, steamy middays, and afternoons punctuated by the presence of rain showers and/or thunderstorms. I do not envy anyone who must work outside in this hot, humid, and exhausting climate!

Closely Watched Packages – The Never-Ending Saga

(C) 2022 Paramount Pictures/Paramount Home Media Distribution

Last night I received two emails – one from Amazon, the other from UPS – informing me that the package with my pre-order of Star Trek – The Original Motion Picture 6-Movie Collection shipped yesterday at 2 PM Mountain Standard Time from Tucson, Arizona via UPS SurePost, which means UPS will hand the box (which is a 15-disc set) to the U.S. Postal Service for “last mile delivery.”  

This also means that since there isn’t just one delivery service but two, my pre-order is scheduled to arrive on Tuesday, September 13, one day ahead of the original Amazon estimate and one week after Star Trek – The Original Motion Picture 6-Movie Collection’s “drop date,” which, of course, was yesterday.

The Indy 4K UHD set took forever to arrive in June of 2021. Photo by the author

Well, I was prepared for a far longer wait, considering the delays I experienced with pre-orders, all of which involved titles released by Paramount Home Media Distribution, in 2021. This includes the three-week lag between the street date and delivery day for the 40th Anniversary 4K UHD box set with the first four Indiana Jones movies, the Ragtime Blu-ray, and the predecessor to the box set I’m waiting to receive now, Star Trek – The Original 4-Movie Collection. If I recall correctly, some of those pre-orders from ’21 arrived three weeks after their day of release.

In this case, I think I am less worried about the lag because (a) I anticipated it and prepared mentally for it, and (b) – perhaps more relevantly – I have previously released (if slightly different) versions of the movies in the Star Trek – The Original Motion Picture 6-Movie Collection set.

Trek On, Trek On!

This version of Star Trek: The Motion Picture is the main reason why I ordered the 6-movie box set. (C) 2022 Paramount Home Media Distribution

The only title in the new 15-disc set that I’ll watch right away will be the 4K remastered version of 2001’s Star Trek: The Motion Picture – The Director’s Edition, which itself is a Paramount-sanctioned revision of the 1979 Star Trek: The Motion Picture supervised by director Robert Wise.

The story of why Wise was keen on revisiting Star Trek: The Motion Picture and working with a team of digital effects specialists and editors to create the 2001 Director’s Edition is long and complicated, but it boils down to these facts:

  • Star Trek: The Motion Picture was originally conceived as the two-hour premiere of a projected second Star Trek TV series intended to be the “flagship series” of a fourth TV network owned by Paramount
  • Paramount’s TV network – which was planned to start in time for the 1977 fall season, – did not materialize
  • Star Wars’ success at the box office in that same year (1977) prompted Paramount to quickly greenlight a Star Trek movie produced by the series’ creator, Gene Roddenberry
  • The transition from TV pilot movie to theatrical run feature film was longer, more complicated, and more chaotic than Paramount expected, and because the studio had a locked-in premiere date, Bob Wise did not have time to fix many of the issues he knew Star Trek: The Motion Picture had – most of them due to the studio’s insistence that the movie showed off the expensive special effects that Paramount had paid a lot of money for

Paramount was keen on letting Wise tinker with Star Trek: The Motion Picture partly to appease Star Trek fans who love TMP’s basic concept but knew the movie’s pacing was, shall we say, problematic and would prefer Wise’s version to the original 1979 one. The other factor was that Paramount’s TV network project had finally come to fruition in 1994 with the creation of United Paramount Network (UPN), and 2001 marked the premiere of UPN’s second Star Trek TV series, the prequel originally titled Enterprise.

What better way, the studio’s marketing geniuses thought, to promote the new series and launch a Collector’s Series of DVD sets of the Star Trek feature films (there were nine in existence in 2001, and the 10th in production) than by offering Trekkies a new and improved Star Trek: The Motion Picture?

Now, even though the new effects created by a team of digital artists and video/audio restoration experts that included Daren Dochterman, Sherry Hitch, David C. Fein, Adam Lebowitz, Michael Matessino, Stephen W. Pugh, Lee Stringer, and Ron Thornton are great and brought Star Trek: The Motion Picture closer to what director Wise wanted to achieve in 1979, the Director’s Edition could not be offered on high-definition Blu-ray until late 2021.

Why? Because the Director’s Edition project was made at a time when DVD was still a maturing format and Blu-rays were still in the process of being, well, invented, the CGI effects created by the team led by Dochterman and Fein were done in standard definition, and upscaling them to Blu-ray HD standards was not only difficult but expensive. Thus, it wasn’t until Paramount Global (the former ViacomCBS) launched its Paramount+ streaming service that it not only decided to release all of the Star Trek features in 4K UHD, but to pay Fein and Dochterman’s team enough money to redo the digital effects for the Director’s Edition of Star Trek: The Motion Picture.

Since I have only seen the Director’s Edition on standard definition DVD, I am, as Spock would say, most curious to see what the Wise-supervised version of Star Trek: The Motion Picture looks like either on Blu-ray or its upscale younger sibling, 4K UHD Blu-ray.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Alas, unless UPS SurePost and the Post Office can put my package with the movie set that includes the Director’s Edition aboard the Starship Enterprise, I have to wait till Tuesday of next week to see it.

Ciao, For Now

Well, Dear Reader, it is now almost 12:30 PM – fast typist, I am not – and I do need to wrap this post up, so I’ll take my leave of you. Have a wonderful Hump Day, and as always, stay safe, stay healthy and I’ll catch you on the sunny side of things.

Another gratuitous cheesecake picture! Photo by Alesia Kozik on Pexels.com

Published by Alex Diaz-Granados

Alex Diaz-Granados (1963- ) began writing movie reviews as a staff writer and Entertainment Editor for his high school newspaper in the early 1980s and was the Diversions editor for Miami-Dade Community College, South Campus' student newspaper for one semester. Using his experiences in those publications, Alex has been raving and ranting about the movies online since 2003 at various web sites, including Amazon, Ciao and Epinions. In addition to writing reviews, Alex has written or co-written three films ("A Simple Ad," "Clown 345," and "Ronnie and the Pursuit of the Elusive Bliss") for actor-director Juan Carlos Hernandez. You can find his reviews and essays on his blogs, A Certain Point of View and A Certain Point of View, Too.

12 thoughts on “Musings & Thoughts for Wednesday, September 7, 2022, or: Summer Doesn’t Want to Go Away; Paramount’s New ‘Star Trek’ Box Set is On Its Way…But NOT at Warp Speed

      1. We’re supposed to get rain this weekend. If you read about a woman arrested for dancing au naturel in the streets in the rain, it definitely will not be me. Nope. Uh-uh.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s essentially a better-paced film that removes some ridiculous exaggerations, such as Commander Branch saying the energy cloud/v’ger is 82 AUs (82 times the distance from Earth to the Sun) in diameter and shortens the Enterprise’s journey inside V’ger. Vulcan also looks a bit better and more consistent to how we see it on TOS and TNG.

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    1. Hey, Pooja! Nice seeing you comment here in “A Certain Point of View, Too.”

      I’m sorry that I am replying 11 days late, but WordPress (or Askimet) placed your comment in my Spam folder. Luckily I found it on the day, ironically enough, that the temperatures began to dip…just a tiny, tiny bit.

      Liked by 1 person

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