Thursday, December 7, 2023

A Trek Back to December 7th, 1979

I was reminded this morning that today's date is December 7th. What is it about this day, besides the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941?

On December 7th, 1979, I stood in line with friends for some movie that ended up disappointing many people ― even though it went on to make a lot of money ― but became the favourite film 'in the series' for some.

Star Trek - The Motion Picture was, and still is, a polarizing piece of celluloid. "We get it, you hate this movie." (The dirty little secret is a lot of fans do not like ST: TMP for the simple reason that there are virtually no "starship battles". Boo. Hoo.)

One thing's for sure, it is still the biggest budget Trek of the bunch, the only one given "A-picture" status by Paramount Pictures ― not that it means anything outside of trivia circles. However, the studio was not entirely happy with the box office results; even though the film brought in the bucks it was not highly "profitable", which is proportion of money made compared to money put in. While touted as soaking up 42 million production dollars, its real cost was about 28 million. (In its zeal to promote TMP as being epic in cash outlays, Paramount included the costs of the aborted Treks: the motion picture of a planned 1976 release, and a return to television scheduled for 1977.)

More importantly, that great cast was back, even if their magical chemistry was seemingly put on hold for 132 minutes. One hundred and thirty-two minutes.

What do I think of the picture now? Well, the last time I saw TMP, years ago, I liked it... more.

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