on May 19, 2000
Those are the best two words to describe Galaxy Quest. Another good phrase would be "one of the best movies Dreamworks has produced so far".
It's been a long time since I've seen a parody film hit its intended targets with such accuracy and finesse. The movie deals with the crew of the Protector, a spaceship that exists only in reruns of the strangely familiar early 80's ensemble SF TV show Galaxy Quest. Exiled to mall shows and science-fiction fan conventions, they live out their days signing autographs for fanatical, show-quoting groupies until they're propositioned by some rather distinctive "fans" for a very special mission...
What ensues is an incredibly fun skewering of the whole Star Trek experience, effortlessly bouncing from knowing parody to rollicking action to heartfelt emotion. And it's all headed by a top-flight cast led by Tim Allen as Jason Nesmith/Commander Peter Quincy Taggart. Aiding and abeting him is his flouncy blonde side-kick, played by...Sigourney Weaver! This brilliant casting coup alone should tip you off to the film-makers' attitude towards the subject matter. Also present is Alan Rickman in an incredible turn as the token alien cast member who longs to return to Shakespeare, Tony Shalhoub as the boggled engineer, and Daryl Mitchell as the cute kid who is now all grown up. But as good as the human cast is, they fade into the background whenever they interact with the true aliens of the picture, the Thermanians. Masking their true squidlike form in a human disquise, they lurch across the screen speaking in stretched and strangled accents with ever-present goofy grins on their faces.
It matters not if you're a bred-in-the-bone Trekkie or wouldn't know a Mark I phaser if it jumped up and stunned you...there is just so much to enjoy here. It probably does help if you're at least familiar with the source of the various in-jokes contained within, but Galaxy Quest is careful to surround its Trekian pokes with a surprisingly touching story of personal redemption.
Sure there are plot holes the size of black holes, and the motivations for the aliens' actions are as vaporous as a plasma cloud. But this is one of those movies that revels in its own wonderous creations so much that you really just don't give a damn about blasted logic. Hurry to the video store today, a video gem like this comes around about as often as Halley's Comet.
In 1999, "Galaxy Quest" was a film that surprised many sci fi fans when it was released to theaters. At first, many people were not sure if it would be a parody to "STAR TREK" but in the end, the film was actually paying homage to the popular television series.
The film is directed by television director David Parisot (who directed shows such as "Curb Your Enthusiasm", "Monk", "ER" and many other series) and is based on a story by David Howard and a screenplay co-written with Ric McElvin ("Men in Black II" , "Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events" and "Addicted to Love", etc.).
The film has received praise from Star Trek alumni such as George Takei, Jonathan Frakes, Patrick Stewart and Will Wheaton and has received nearly all positive reviews from film critics upon its release in theaters back in 1999.
VIDEO & AUDIO:
"Galaxy Quest - Deluxe Edition" has been digitally remastered for this DELUXE EDITION/10th Year release. I haven't done any comparisons to my original 2000 DVD version of the film but I could tell by watching it, scenes like the mission obtain Beryllium, this would shine on Blu-ray. But for now, on DVD the colors look vibrant with the Earth tone colors and blue skies make things absolutely beautiful. Video is presented in widescreen. So, overall, for a DVD release, the picture quality and the new remastering looked great.
As for the audio, audio is presented ala English 5.1 Surround (as well as Spanish 5.1 Surround) and comes with a Thermian 2.0 Surround track. I will say that watching this film again, I heard a good number special effects from the various channels. Audio sounds very good, I was noticing small details such as the damaged spaceship, the Protector trying to use its remaining engines to move the ship and hearing it trying to move in space on your front channel and rear channels speakers. I don't recall hearing those small details back in 2000. I felt the audio seemed cleaner and clearer in this deluxe edition.
With a new digital remaster for the DVD coinciding with the 10th Anniversary of the film's release, I can only hope that we get a 1080p High Definition transfer with lossless audio. Knock on wood, I hope there will be a Blu-ray release coming soon!
But for now, compared to the original DVD release, this is the better DVD version to own for now in terms of picture and audio quality.
"Galaxy Quest - Deluxe Edition" comes with newer special features to celebrate the film's 10th Anniversary. The original DVD released in 2000 had special DVD Easter Eggs (related to the Omega 13) and a "On Location in Space" featurette that are not included on this deluxe edition, so you may not want to throw out your original 2000 DVD. But this Deluxe Edition comes with newer features recently created in 2009 and are very enjoyable.
* Historical Documents: The Story of Galaxy Quest - (18:14) A new featurette with recent interviews with Dean Parisot (Director), Bob Gordon (Screenwriter) and David Howard (screenwriter). Also, new interviews with the cast of "Galaxy Quest". A fun and informative featurette of how the film came about, how the talent felt about being at a science fiction convention and being a bit weirded out by the experience and also certain segments that play homage to "Star Trek".
* Never Give Up. Never Surrender: The Intrepid Crew of the NSEA Protector - (23:25) This featurette goes into the casting of "Galaxy Quest". The cast is interviewed and give their thoughts of their character and what they remember during the filming. Interesting tidbits of Sigourney Weaver being in character once she had the blonde wig and attracting a lot of eyes. How Alan Rickman was very cool and calm. Tim Allen and Daryl Mitchell always having fun on the set and really interesting situations that happened during the filming of "Galaxy Quest".
* By Grabthar's Hammer, What Amazing Effects - (7:03) How popular Stan Winston worked on special effects for the alien monsters and Industrial Light and Magic working on the CG effects. How the camera work for "Galaxy Quest" was trying to recapture that Star Trek original series cinematography feel and much more!
* Alien School - Creating the Thermian Race - (5:23) How Enrico Colantoni (Mathesar) came up with the Thermian speech from vocal training they did at Yale. How during "alien school", they would have to learn how to walk and move.
* Actors in Space - (6:11) In this segment, we learn how being in a popular series, an actor can get pigeonholed. Tim Allen talks about people even today thinking he's Tim Taylor of "Home Improvement", Justin Long talking about despite his film work, he's still looked as "The Mac Guy", Daryl Mitchell known for his work on "House Party" and more.
* Sigourney Weaver Raps - (1:59) Sigourney Weaver's agent's birthday was coming up, so Sigourney asked Daryl Mitchell to help her create a rap for Sam Cohn and together with Sam Rockwell, Missi Pyle, Jed Rees, the five created a music video as a birthday present.
* Additional Scenes: Deleted Scenes (Used on 2000 release) - A total of eight deleted scenes. Some of these features include commentary by the talent or Director Dean Parisot and David Howard.
* Thermian Audio Track - An audio track featured completely in Thermian. Personally, even when this was on the original 2000 DVD, has anyone ever watched the film completely in Thermian?
* Theatrical Trailer (Used on 2000 release) - (1:54) Original theatrical trailer.
The slip cover has a front cover that features Alan Rickman, Sigourney Weaver and Tim Allen in character, standing cool and collected (the image shown above on this review) and when you shift the front of the cover slightly, it shows the three firing their weapons.
"Galaxy Quest - Deluxe Edition" is definitely a wonderful 10th Anniversary release.
I have never grown tired of this film and for any Star Trek fan or science fiction fan, you can't help but enjoy and laugh and be thoroughly entertained by the various talent and the overall wackiness of the storyline.
The new special features is what makes this film worth buying again on DVD. To have everyone return for an interview and talk about their love for the film and how well it was received and how it has become a sci-fi classic was just fun to watch. And the behind-the-scenes tidbits you learn about the shenanigans that went behind-the-scenes to the actual creation of the film, was also informative and entertaining.
If there is one thing that I can hope for, that would be a high definition Blu-ray release of this film. With its 10th Anniversary, I was a bit surprised that only a new DVD was announced at this time. But with the film now receiving a new digital remastering, I can only hope for a HD 1080p transfer and lossless audio, to me, that would be the icing on the cake.
But overall, this new deluxe edition was just fantastic and if you are a big fan of "Galaxy Quest", on DVD, this is the definitive version to own. Highly recommended!
on January 31, 2003
In December of 1999, director Dean Parisot unleashed what is arguably the funniest sci-fi/comedy film of all time, "Galaxy Quest", which focuses upon the dissatisfied lives of five actors who had starred in a long-cancelled sci-fi television series of the same name. Jason Nesmith (Tim Allen) played ship's captain Commander Peter Quincey Taggart. Gwen DeMarco (Sigourney Weaver, who is no stranger to sci-fi with her roles in the "Alien" films) played Lt. Madison. Alexander Dane (Alan Rickman, also known for his roles as Hans Gruber in the 1988 film "Die Hard" and Professor Snape in the two "Harry Potter" films) played Dr. Lazarus. Fred Kwan (Tony Shalhoub) played ship's engineer Tech Sgt. Chen and Tommy Webber (Daryl Mitchell) played ship's pilot Laredo. Following the cancellation of the TV series, none of the actors had found descent acting jobs. Instead, they were relegated to appearing occasionally as their former "Galaxy Quest" characters at fan conventions and infrequent commercials. Especially frustrated is Alexander Dane, a trained Shakespearean actor who cannot escape the stigma of having said those immortal words, "By Grabthar's hammer, by the suns of Warvan, you shall be avenged!"
The film begins at a "Galaxy Quest" convention where the quintet is preparing to appear. Unbeknownst to them, not all of the conventioneers dressed as aliens are pretending. A group of uniformed "aliens" approach Jason (dressed as Commander Taggart) saying that they are in dire need of his assistance. Jason quickly agrees and assumes that the group is planning to pay him to appear as Commander Taggart at a fan-function. Following a night of drinking at his home, the "aliens" arrive in a limousine (per Jason's request) to escort him to their function. The "aliens", calling themselves Thermians, are Mathesar (Enrico Colantoni), Teb (Jed Rees) and Laliari (Missi Pyle). While en route to their function, Teb recites the lengthy history of Thermia to Jason, but Jason (who has a hangover) falls asleep. (Jason doesn't take the Thermians seriously; instead believing that they are simply "Galaxy Quest" fans.) Jason awakens to what he believes is a very elaborate set mimicking the NSEA Protector from the "Galaxy Quest" show. Mathesar (who always refers to Jason as Commander Taggart) tells him that the Thermians want him to negotiate a peace treaty with General Sarris (Robin Sachs). Instead, "Commander Taggart" orders the Thermians to fire upon Sarris' ship. Assuming that he has completed his performance, Jason tells Mathesar that he is ready to return home. Mathesar escorts him to an empty room and leaves. Jason, not understanding what is happening, is suddenly enveloped within a strange substance and raised to the ship's exterior where he sees millions of stars in deep space. He is suddenly shot from the ship, then finds himself standing next to his swimming pool at home. Jason finally realizes that the Thermians are real extraterrestrials, and that they mistakenly regard the "Galaxy Quest" show (which they received in deep space) as being historical fact.
The other four "Galaxy Quest" actors are busy filming a commercial for the opening of an electronics store and are disgusted because Jason isn't there. Jason arrives late and tells them about his experience with the Thermians, but they think he has lost his mind. Jason tells them that the Thermians want him to return and that he wants them to come also. They initially reject it, but change their minds when they mistakenly believe that it's a paying job. Gwen, Alexander, Fred and Tommy are whisked away to the Thermian's NSEA Protector, along with another actor named Guy Fleegman (Sam Rockwell), who had played a bit part on the original "Galaxy Quest" show. With that, the most important role for each of the washed up "Galaxy Quest" actors begins!
Dean Parisot, along with writers David Howard and Robert Gordon, created a brilliant and engaging spoof of the show "Star Trek", its conventions and trekkies with "Galaxy Quest". Tim Allen equated with William Shatner (Kirk), Alan Rickman with Leonard Nimoy (Spock), Sigourney Weaver with Nichelle Nichols (Uhura), Tony Shalhoub with James Doohan (Scotty) and Daryl Mitchell with George Takei (Sulu). Other sci-fi comedy spoof that predate "Galaxy Quest" (such as "Ice Pirates", "Pluto Nash" and "Spaceballs") are no where near as good, engaging or funny.
All of the actors in "Galaxy Quest" performed their roles exceptionally well. Two actor who played significant minor roles were Patrick Breen, who played the Thermian named Quelleck, and Jeremy Howard, who played the young and very helpful "Galaxy Quest" fan named Kyle.
I highly recommend purchasing "Galaxy Quest" on DVD, which has superior picture and sound quality, and includes several deleted scenes, trailers, biographies, the feature "On Location in Space" and production notes. "Galaxy Quest" is a film that can be watched many times while never becoming tiresome. Sit back and remember those immortal words, "Never give up! Never surrender!" as you are whisked away into the fantastic world of "Galaxy Quest"!
on May 2, 2000
I was eager to see this movie, hoping it was going to be as good as I dreamed it would be, so many hyped up Box Office megahits fell disappointingly short, (example; Matrix! ). It was with great relief that this movie flew into the Wonderfully Brilliant catagory, Im pleased to inform you that Galaxy Quest is a fun, funny, fantastic film, for families to watch without the worry of excessive violence (Well theres a little bit, and it also suggests some form of Xenocide and canibalism! but aside from that its pretty tame!)
The Actors in my opinion, are all stars, Tim Allen may have been the head honcho but every actor contributed to the films overall appeal I particularily enjoyed Sigorney in the role of the stereotypical Blonde actress (A far cry from her Ripley persona! )
This movie is pure entertainment, paying a high quality tribute to those earlier Scifi shows, perhaps letting people who dont normally watch classic Scifi relics (Yep Star Trek, and lost in space etc! ), a chance to view these series from a new perspective, whether you enjoy Scifi or not Im quite sure you will have a smile on your face and a new appreciation for a genre that has spawned a number of truely corny and whacky shows, SO PLEASE WATCH THIS MOVIE. YOU WONT REGRET IT!
on May 11, 2009
When Galaxy Quest was released in 2000, it was a modest success but it certainly didn't light the world on fire. Over the years, it has quietly amassed something of a cult following who delight in the film's affectionately satirical jabs at the Star Trek franchise and its fans, specifically the first incarnation with William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy. With this new Deluxe Edition DVD, it is about time for Galaxy Quest to be revisited and re-evaluated.
"Historical Documents: The Story of Galaxy Quest" is a retrospective making of featurette that has key cast and crew members reminiscing about the experience of working on the film. They take us through its origins and we see how the original concept was quite different but was tweaked over time. In a nice touch, the main cast members return and tell all kinds of filming anecdotes, clearly looking back at this project with genuine affection.
"Never Give Up, Never Surrender: The Intrepid Crew of the NSEA Protector" takes a look at the cast of Galaxy Quest and they talk about how they approached their respective roles. The filmmakers talk about why they cast the actors that are in the film and everyone dishes more wonderful stories.
"By Grabthar's Hammer, What Amazing Effects" takes a look at the film's snazzy visual effects. They had Stan Winston do the aliens while ILM do the special effects. Winston speaks about his creations in archival footage.
"Alien School: Creating the Thermian Race" examines the alien race that enlists the help of the Galaxy Quest crew. Actor Enrico Colantoni talks about how he came up with his character's voice.
"Actors in Space" takes a look at how the cast made fun of their profession and their character archetypes.
"Sigourney Weaver Raps" features a taped message that she made for her agent's birthday where the veteran actress raps with help from her fellow castmates.
Also included are eight deleted scenes that feature more with Fred Kwan as he tours the ship's engineering section with his Zen-like calmness. There is a scene where the cast are shown their quarters based on their characters' personalities from the show. And we also get more of them bickering among each other on the alien planet.
"Thermian Audio Track" allows you to watch the entire film dubbed in the alien language, which is actually pretty funny but I don't know if you would ever watch it more than once.
Finally, there is a theatrical trailer.
on April 29, 2000
I have been a Star Trek fan for the longest time & for that simple reason, my girl friend never bothered watching the series with me. But then again, unknowingly, Star Trek's culture has imbedded into our day to day living. If you say phrases like "Beam Me Up, Scottie"; "Live Long & Prosper" whilst displaying the V sign, your friends just understand immediately what you're implying. Anyway, my girl friend came with me to the cinema reluctantly & she couldn't help shaking her head noticing that the cinema was filled with males especially the geeky type, something like me! Anyway, when the movie started, she couldn't help laughing her heads off with the goofy storyline. On top of the mockery of the Star Trek series, what I'm finding this movie endearing is seeing all those familiar actors from TV series such as Elliott in Just Shoot Me, Mitchell from Veronica's Closet, Tim Allen in Home Improvement, the taxi guy from Wings strutting their stuff. What's even amusing is seeing Sigourney Weaver playing a busty bimbo (a far cry from her Ripley role in Alien & sequels), & Alan Rickman virtually playing himself as an actor with English theatre background forcing himself re-enacting the role of this Spock character again & again & still, the spotlight is always taken by Tim Allen who's potraying the role of William Shatner. What's even more delightful about the movie is that in the end, good prevails over evil. The underlying themes of the movies would be the significance of teamwork, & self belief. A wonderful film to be shared with family members & friends. What's even more unbelievable is that my girl friend can't wait for the sequel, if there's any! On the sideline, Stan Winston, the special effect guy who had brought us the Alien creature is in his usual best. By the way, the space ship is as corny as ever.
When the entertainment industry pokes fun at itself sincerely, the results can be hilarious. Such is the case with the cornball science fantasy movie "Galaxy Quest."
"Galaxy Quest" was a science fiction television show with more than a passing similarity to "Star Trek." As with the latter show, "Galaxy Quest" was cancelled. Now the dispirited actors seem doomed to an endless cycle of overzealous fans at "Galaxy Quest" conventions. Adding to the actor's torment is the attitude of Jason Nesmith (Tim Allen), who played Commander Peter Quincy Taggart in the show. Nesmith's cheery attitude and self-importance have worn thin on his fellow cast mates, Gwen Demarco as sexy Lt. Tawny Madison (Sigourney Weaver), Alexander Dane as brainy Dr. Lazarus (Alan Rickman), and Fred Kwan as Tech Sgt. Chen (Tony Shalhoub).
Interrupting their doldrums is a group of individuals who would appear weird to anyone outside a science fiction convention. As members of the convention they appear to be about as strange, or normal, depending on your point of view, as anyone else. However, Jason Nesmith soon learns that this strange foursome is more than they seem as they spirit him off to their genuine spaceship, NSEA Protector.
At first Jason is somewhat excited at the opportunity to be on a genuine spaceship, and eventually brings the rest of the crew, including bit part player Guy Fleegman (Sam Rockwell), back to the ship with him. However, the aliens crewing the ship, the Thermians, have a very real, very ruthless nemesis to contend with, and the former crew of "Galaxy Quest" discover they are out of their depth.
The Thermians brought the crew of "Galaxy Quest" on board because they discovered certain "historical documents" that were transmitted into space many years earlier. The somewhat innocent, though highly intelligent and creative, Thermians were unable to recognize the television show "Galaxy Quest" as being make-believe.
The movie moves forward with a number of creative and often humorous moments, alternating between hilarity and seriousness, with even a few moments of compassion. Every cliché and stereotype from the original "Star Trek" is exploited for a laugh. In the climax the actors rely on hardcore fans for their in-depth knowledge of the show to save them. It is difficult to avoid enjoying the ending, even if you are not a fan of science fiction.
"Galaxy Quest" is an excellent companion movie to the original "Star Trek" television series. Even non-Trek fans will pick up on most of the gags. There is a lot of action and you can expect the usual implausibilities that tend to accompany television science fiction. However, the results are humorous and enjoyable. You will find this movie worth more than one watch.
on June 10, 2000
Much, much better than I expected. Interesting, funny and almost believable film about washed-up actors of a long-cancelled, kitschy space opera being pressed back into service to save real aliens. The actors are forced to play the roles of their lives and seek help from their most rabid fans to save the day.
I don't need to go much more into the plot since it's been covered very well by other reviewers. Some really good laugh-out-loud scenes from Alexander Dane (Alan Rickman), a Shakespearean-trained actor whose career has been relegated to a single catch phrase from the "Galaxy Quest" show("By Grapthar's Hammer...") and Fred Khan (Tony Shaloub), the dimbulb actor/"engineer" who falls for one of the kindly aliens.
The film pokes gentle fun at (and homage to) sci-fi conventions and their fans, especially those of the original Star Trek series. Very little to offend anyone, except for the occasional strong language and suggested sexual situation (and even THAT is funny!) In a way, this might have been an interesting vehicle for the original Star Trek series members to tackle although DeForest Kelley ("Dr. McCoy") recently passed. But perhaps that would have damaged the the thing that keeps those conventions packed -- the belief somewhere in the back of our minds that these adventures are real.
Disclosure: I am a Trekkie. Dyed-in-the-wool, through and through. So I approach this film from that perspective.
"Galaxy Quest" does the impossible - it makes me enjoy something with Tim Allen in it. I place this movie in that rarefied category of "spoof movies that are equally entertaining as spoofs and as stand-alones." By this, I mean that you could never have watched an episode of Star Trek (shame on you!) and still enjoy this as a science fiction movie. Other films in this category include "Hot Fuzz" (Buddy Cop pics) and "Shaun of the Dead" (Zombie flicks). We are given a plot revolving around the cast of a Star Trek-like show, a few decades after their run on TV. They are stuck in a dreary cycle of conventions and appearances cashing in on their previous fame. Then, something strange happens: real aliens approach them, asking them for their help in an interstellar war.
What is especially surprising is how emotional this movie made me. I think its loving depiction of fan devotion, mixed with the somewhat sad portrayal of middle-aged actors who are bitter over typecasting, really hit home for me. The happy ending was made all the more affecting. I was pretty much ready to check my brain and critical eye at the door by the time this movie was finished, however formulaic the resolution might be, objectively speaking.
The cast is very good and the humor is dead-on target. Allen is perfectly cast as a self-important blowhard with an undercurrent of insecurity. Sigourney Weaver is also a standout, demonstrating fine comic timing. The alien characters are charming and quirky. The effects are also surprisingly good, equal to some of the later Star Trek films!
The 1080p image presented on this disc is a definite uprade from the SD DVD, but it isn't exactly a "beat you over the head" HD image. It shows a bit of softness and a bit of Digital Noise Reduction (DNR). The movie was filmed in 1999, and this does look better than some images of that vintage ("Dark City" springs to mind as a DNR'ed mess from about the same year). It's just not a spectacular transfer, at the quality level of, say, 1999's "Fight Club." That said, the faces do not have the waxy look of the worst DNR, and certain shots show nice detail, especially in cloth. The effects shots also look very nice. The print is pretty clean, too. It's just somewhat evident that there was no major restoration work.
The soundtrack is a Dolby TrueHD 5.1 channel mix that does a fine job. Dialogue is never overpowered, and some of the battles and explosions contain booming bass and rear channel surround information. Most of the track is pretty front-loaded, however.
Extras include about an hour and 15 minutes worth of documentary features. The most interesting are a feature on the ILM effects (which were pretty good), as well as features on casting, production, and the like. Unfortunately, all the features are in SD. Only the included movie trailer is in HD. 12 minutes of deleted scenes round out the extras.
Bottom line: This is great family-friendly entertainment. At the inexpensive Blu-Ray price, if you don't own it, and you love either Star Trek or Sci-Fi in general, you really can't go wrong. It would have been nice to have had a fancier set and a slightly better transfer, but even with its SD features, this is better than most bare-bones releases of "less successful" movies.
I see this as a "love letter" of sorts to both Trekkies and the Trek cast and crew. I enjoy watching this more than the new Trek movie, for what it's worth. If you haven't seen it, you really should!
on November 17, 2009
When I first saw this, it was time when Trekkies and such were out. Star Trek was hot as a flashback/pop culture thing, and this movie looked to be a cheap cash-in.
But that couldn't be farther from the truth. I was shocked at how good it was. The story is spot-on, making fun of all the aspects that deserve it (fans, plot devices, typecasting, James Tiberius Kirk and more) and the cast was a fantastic get for a movie that plays as just a spoof. When you can get Sam Rockwell (in his 2nd best Sci-Fi role) to play a bit part, you're doing very well. And Tim Allen, who so often turns out poorly instead shows us all that with a good script, he can hold his own against actors like Alan Rickman and Tony Shalhoub who would seem to far outclass him.
This movie is entertaining all the way, with only a very few short dead spots. All the characters are played well and it actually works as its own story, beyond being a Star Trek riff.
I could hardly imagine how this could be made better. Even making it actually mention Star Trek directly would only limit their ability to make light of the characters and actors.
I could not possibly recommend this more to fans of Star Trek, Sci-Fi or just good comedy. This movie is one of a select few that I watch over and over when I need entertainment (alongside Caddyshack, Trading Places and Office Space), it's just that good.