"GALAXY QUEST: DELUXE EDITION"
by Kevin Carr
|| MOVIE: **** (out of 5 stars)
DVD EXPERIENCE: ***1/2 (out of 5 stars)
Tim Allen as JASON NESMITH
Sigourney Weaver as GWEN DEMARCO
Alan Rickman as ALEXANDER DANE
Tony Shalhoub as FRED KWAN
Sam Rockwell as GUY FLEEGMAN
Daryl Mitchell as TOMMY WEBBER
Enrico Colantoni as MATHESAR
Directed by: Dean Parisot
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It’s been twenty years since the 1980s classic sci-fi adventure “Galaxy Quest” has been cancelled, and the old stars of the series now make their living traveling to different conventions to meet their fans. However, at one convention, a group of people dressed as aliens approach Jason Nesmith (Tim Allen), the captain of the NSEA Protector, with a request to help them defend their race. When he goes with them, he soon discovers that these are real aliens who have patterned their life after the television show. Nesmith soon brings the rest of his “crew” along in a dangerous – and hilarious – space adventure.
WHAT I LIKED
It’s hard to believe that a movie like “Galaxy Quest” has been around for almost an entire decade. This film was originally released before “Star Trek” became cool (which, incidentally only happened a few months ago), so it wasn’t fully appreciated by an audience unless you had spent some time at science fiction conventions.
As a fan of the various science fiction classic series, like “Star Trek” and “Star Wars,” I’ve met most of the people parodied in “Galaxy Quest” – from the overzealous fans to the has-been and bitter celebrities making a living off a series’ memories. A movie like “Galaxy Quest” manages to poke fun at a wide range of people but still be loveable and sympathetic at the same time.
The cast is brilliant in this film. Tim Allen, who was coming off his own overwhelming success with “Home Improvement,” plays the perfect fictional version of William Shatner while Alan Rickman balances him out as the thespian stuck in a schticky role (embodying both Leonard Nimoy and Patrick Stewart). Sigourney Weaver gives a deft comedic turn, and Tony Shalhoub in a pre-Monk persona is hysterical as the burned out acting has-been (and decidedly non-Asian) Fred Kwan.
Rounding out the cast are the aliens, led by Enrico Colantoni as the sing-song leader of the bunch and Missy Pyle as a potential love interest for the baked Fred Kwan.
Ultimately, though, “Galaxy Quest” works not just as a parody or a send-up of a type of film. It works as a basic space adventure as well. Strip away all the jokes, gags and silliness, and you still have an exciting film about a rag-tag group of explorers fighting for justice in the galaxy.
WHAT I DIDN’T LIKE
Not much for this film. I remember watching this movie in the theaters almost ten years ago, and I really connected with it both as a sci-fi fan and as an avid moviegoer. It was one of DreamWorks’ earlier films, and while it wasn’t a massive box office success, it has become a modern classic that will live on in the memories of science fiction fanatics for years to come.
The Deluxe Edition of the “Galaxy Quest” DVD comes with a nice assortment of featurettes and other bonus materials. It begins with “Historical Documents: The Story of Galaxy Quest,” which explains how the film was originally developed. “Never Give Up, Never Surrender” focuses on the characters playing the crew of the NSEA Protector. “By Grabthar’s Hammer, What Amazing Effects” highlights how the studio went into the production with the decision to make the effects look good and not cheesy or low-budget.
“Alien School: Creating the Thermian Race” explains how the actors and the filmmakers developed the sympathetic race of heroes, and “Actors In Space” discusses how the actors have trouble shedding their on-screen personalities, from “Star Trek” to “Home Improvement” to Justin Long as the Mac Guy.
Additional special features include a weird little bit with Sigourney Weaver rapping, a slate of deleted scenes and a bizarre and funny yet completely useless Thermian audio track.
WHO’S GOING TO LIKE THIS MOVIE
Sci-fi fans and anyone who can relate to the “Star Trek” characters and actors.