Galaxy Quest (DVD)

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Galaxy Quest (DVD)

GALAXY QUEST is a satirical comedy that pokes fun at the influence science fiction shows such as STAR TREK have had on their audience. The cast member...

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Review of "Galaxy Quest (DVD)"

published 23/04/2001 | lenny0
Member since : 11/04/2001
Reviews : 9
Members who trust : 1
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Excellent
Pro A funny parody without being patronising to Trek fans
Cons None to speak of
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"An intelligent parody, for once"

Right then, I'm a Star Trek fan, always have been, and I'm pig sick of the lame, dull and usually inaccurate spoofs of the series which seem to have infested every satirical TV show for the past ten to twenty years.

In general, these consist of three half-witted comedy actors in ill-fitting blue tops and exaggerated bell-bottomed trousers doing crap impersonations of Kirk ("Speak-ing with en-or-mous pauses"), Spock ("Logical, captain") and McCoy ("He's Dead Jim") to the mad cackling of a canned laughter track.

Really, it would drive you nuts.

And now there's "Galaxy Quest" - where Tim Allan plays an actor who used to play the starship captain on the eponymous cult TV series a la James Kirk and he talks like...well, quite normally actually.

Which is the beauty of the film, for anyone who has every watched an episode of Star Trek in particular. None of the obvious and by now so tired gags are used in the film. Yep, there's an alien science officer who lives his life by a strict moral code, but there are no cheap jokes about his appearance; there's a somewhat dour chief engineer who doesn't speak in a "humorous" ethnic accent; there's even a security guard extra who doesn't get killed in the first five minutes.

Instead, there are subtle and affectionate digs at the genre as a whole – one quick example is Sigourney Weaver (playing against type as the blonde and busty first officer) who points out that she had no role in the original series other than to repeat whatever the computer said which is a nice, and funny, way of highlighting the total lack of use of female characters (especially Uhura) in Star Trek.

The best and cleverest bit of the film though is in the treatment of the bit player who winds up heading into real space with the established stars of the show and who is convinced that he will get killed off quickly in best Star Trek tradition. I won't spoil the surprise by telling you all the best lines in the film, but suffice to say that all the humour is subtle and fresh and his status as "the expendable extra" becomes a great running joke throughout the film.

The plot of the film, without giving too much away, is that a group of friendly aliens called the Thermians have been picking up broadcasts of the original TV series and thinking that they are "historical documents" instead of fiction, have based their entire culture around "Galaxy Quest", down to the fact that they have replicated all of the technology in the show. When they are threatened with destruction by an evil alien race, they fly to Earth to enlist the help of the heroic Galaxy Quest crew, not knowing that they are merely a group of typecast and now out of work actors (actually it sounds a little like the plot of "A Bug's Life" now I think about it). From then on in, the film chronicles the occasionally hapless attempts of the actors to live up to the Thermians’ expectations.

The Region 2 DVD contains a rather cheesy American TV documentary cum advert for the film and a series of quite good dropped scenes which – as they were dropped before the CGI effects were finished – give you some idea of how the special effects on the film were added to the final print, in addition to the usual menus etc.


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Comments on this review

  • starry published 28/04/2001
    Still haven't managed to see this yet but it sounds really good and I enjoyed reading your review about it. Methinks a visit to the video shop is in order or perhaps I'll just wait until it is shown on Sky :-)
  • e_l_parker published 23/04/2001
    Thanks for the opinion - welcome to Ciao! Emma
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Product Information : Galaxy Quest (DVD)

Manufacturer's product description

GALAXY QUEST is a satirical comedy that pokes fun at the influence science fiction shows such as STAR TREK have had on their audience. The cast members of the cult sci-fi television series GALAXY QUEST now earn their livings appearing at conventions and grand openings, led by their bomastic captain Jason Nesmith, played by Tim Allen. When an alien race--the Thermians--arrives on earth, it appears that they have mistakenly appropriated the show's culture as their own, thinking the series was actual fact. Desperate for help in battling the evil General Sarris, they bring the actors with them into space to save their planet. A surprisingly smart and funny send-up of the science-fiction culture and the influence television has on the world at large, GALAXY QUEST is a comedy that even non-genre fans can enjoy, with terrific turns by Sigourney Weaver, Alan Rickman, and Tony Shalhoub.

Release Details

DVD Region: DVD

Studio(s): PARAMOUNT HOME ENTERTAINMENT; TECHNICOLOR DISTRIBUTION SERVICES, DREAMWORKS HOME ENTERTAINMENT; UNIVERSAL MUSIC OPERATIONS

Release date: 19/06/2006, 26/03/2001

No of Discs: 1

Catalogue No: DSL 1297, 490 913 9

Composer: David Newman

Costume Designer: Albert Wolsky

Director of Photography: Jerzy Zielinski

Editor: Don Zimmerman

Executive Producer: Charles J. Newirth

Producer: Mark Johnson, Charles J. Newirth, Suzann Ellis

Production Designer: Linda DeScenna

Author: David Newman

Barcode: 5051188129736, 0678149091397

Screenwriter: Robert Gordon, David Newman, David Howard

Languages

Main Language: English

Dubbed Language: German

Subtitle Language: Dutch, Norwegian, Finnish, English, Danish, Swedish

Hearing Impaired Language: English

Technical Information

Aspect Ratio: 16:9 Anamorphic Wide Screen

Sound: Dolby Digital 5.1

Dubbing Sound: Dolby Digital 5.1 English German

Special Features: On Location In Space, Cutting Room Floor, Theatrical Trailer

Professional Reviews

Review: "...This tightly scripted, lightning-paced laffer delightfully pulls all the elements together and builds to a giddy and gleeful climax..." (Box Office, p.57, 01/02/2000)<br><br>"...The expert cast is more than game. Extra points to [Rickman and Weaver]..." -- 3 out of 5 stars (Premiere, pp.100-1, 01/06/2000)<br><br>"...Genuinely imaginative special effects which manage to recognisably in the spirit of the cheesy originals..." (USA Today, p.48-9, 01/05/2000)<br><br>"...Mischievously clever..." (Variety, pp.57-62, 20/12/1999)<br><br>

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