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I probably shouldn’t be doing this. It’s exposing my hand to Ebert, and on Tuesday I’m supposed to discuss this film with him.... By writing this, I’m exposing my thoughts to him. Allowing him to work out a plan of attack (if he didn’t like it, and he better have liked it or I’ll kick his ass) in disecting me.

But ya know what? Frankly, I don’t care. This is the sort of film that I love. Science Fiction. Geeky as all hell. Damn fine effects. Cool monsters. Groovy space vistas. Making out with an alien chick. Stupid dangerous things. Rock monsters. Ya know. I just love this stuff.

Growing up, I’ve watched everything from STAR TREK to OUTER LIMITS to BATTLESTAR GALACTICA to SPACE 1999 to LOST IN SPACE to BABYLON 5 to... well... you get the idea. Hell, I’ve even been a gigantic fan of stuff like AUTOMAN and THE FLASH and M.A.N.T.I.S. and MISFITS OF SCIENCE and ISIS and HERCULES and KNIGHT RIDER and THUNDERBIRDS and THE PRISONER and so on.

I’ve been a part of the Sci Fi Convention circuit, since an infant. Having all the conversations.

“AMOK TIME is soooo much better than TROUBLE WITH TRIBBLES!”

“No way man”

“Yes way, TROUBLE WITH TRIBBLES is just a stupid Brady Bunch episode with multiplying rabbits and the neighborhood bully, whereas AMOK TIME... Spock has a serious hormonal deep seeded erection that he’ll kill to satisfy!”

“Dude, TROUBLE WITH TRIBBLES was a deep episode man. At it’s heart it was a story about how the United States and the Soviet Union manipulate third world nations into over-population to create international incidents to keep their military industrial complexes at mass production.”

“You are on crack.”

“Uh uh, you are...”

I’ve sold blueprints to the BIRD OF PREY to the ENTERPRISE to DISCOVERY ONE to the FALCON and on and on. Actual size posters of Spock, Kirk and McCoy on the ol beaming pads.

And while some look at fandom with a slackjawed stare of horror, and wonder about how these people come about and what on earth they do with their lives. And think that they are a bunch of losers. And I have met these people.

Me? Well... I look at Science Fiction and Fantasy fans, of which I am one, and what I see are people who can still dream. They haven’t lost that yet. The world hasn’t beaten their imaginations quite yet.

They watched STAR TREK, admired the hell out of SPOCK and entered into science programs. They work at NASA or have helped to create all of this computer technology.

These Global Tracker thingees and Cellular devices... You can be in the middle of Death Valley and Mom can call ya. You could never be lost again.

Now this film isn’t the be all end all of geek culture. But damn if it isn’t a whole lot of fun.

Originally the script really seemed to be taking potshots at ‘fanboys and fangirls’, but in the film... watching it come to life.

Well... If you’ve ever been to an X-FILES convention, and watched the gaggle of gals that enthused endlessly about how Mulder is soooo in love with Scully, and they are gonna get it on, they just knoooooow it.

And then there are the girls that are like, no way, it’s just a platonic thing. They are professional. Mulder is a psycho loser... Scully deserves better than that.

And then there is that dude that walks up and says something along the lines of, “Scully is a dyke tease. Mulder is my man though, that Bambi chick that measures cockroach penises is the gal for him. She was hot with a capitol H!”

When watching the film, and the ‘background’ for the fictional fandom of GALAXY QUEST, which is... for all intents and purposes, STAR TREK... well I feel they nailed fandom quite a bit. There’s that freakshow side of it, the dissing cynical side, the oh so happy side and ya know... I thought they really respected not only the fan side, but the show side as well.

Tim Allen/William Shatner... Now sure, he isn’t playing William Shatner... but wink wink, he’s playing William Shatner. The character is played with a bit of that faux arrogance that we see in Shatner at conventions... The ‘pat answers’ to typical fanboy questions. The whole, ‘Hey baby, wanna ride the captain’ type of thing. But at the same time, he can’t help but face the reality that his life has become about conventions and mall openings and living on past glories.

Alan Rickman/Leonard Nimoy.... Wow. I’ve been a fan of Rickman for quite some time, and he is so dead on perfect for the ‘respectable actor’ that has been ‘diminished and marginalized’ by becoming typecast as this stupid ALIEN SIDEKICK! Do you remember the whole, “I AM NOT SPOCK” period with Nimoy. Where he became indignant and angry? The same sort of thing has happened in the past with folks like LON CHANEY JR, where you had this great actor... who just could not escape his name.

Sigourney Weaver/Typical Cleavage Space Queen... Oh... be it Jerri Ryan or Denise Crosby or Troi or on an on... there is always this character. The female crew member that always exposes tons of cleavage, whose show duties consist of stating the plainly obvious.

Tony Shalhoub/Supporting Cast Member.... he’s the Scotty or Sulu or Chekov or Geordi type. And I LOVE Shalhoub in this film. He’s the only crew member that really really just completely accepts everything that he sees on the journey. And it’s... well I don’t want to spoil it, but man... I’m happy at how this winds up.

Sam Rockwell/Red Shirt.... HILARIOUS! For me, watching ol Rockwell become paranoid as hell at the fact that he is the ‘expendable crew member’... Well... it’s beautiful. It’s sort of like when Randy believes he’s the comedy sidekick that dies in SCREAM... but I don’t know... I just loved the neurosis he puts his character through.

Then there is the damn WESLEY CRUSHER of the show... Daryl Mitchell.... he’s the genius kid from the show that piloted the ship, but is now grown up and a bit embarrased about the whole... when I was a kid on the show type of thing.

In a lot of ways, the film reminds me of THE LAST STARFIGHTER. A film that I love, that I think a lot of people seem to rail against, but in a lot of ways... that’s just the way the film is.

By the time you get through this movie though, I think... at least I know I felt... that this film worked even better.

And the particularly scary part of this film is this...

GALAXY QUEST is supposed to be a take off on the whole ‘STAR TREK’ thing. A ‘ha ha’ type of thing. But as I watched the film, I felt that the people making this movie had more respect for the material than the STAR TREK folks have in ages.

These characters have more soul, the situations they end up in have more poignancy, the space battles have more fear. Overall this is a better STAR TREK movie than any STAR TREK movie I’ve seen in a very long time. The aliens were not just nose appliances and forehead wrinkles.

And the score... David Newman does a real honest to goodness bangup job here. It felt so... vintagely cool. My first question upon exiting the theater was... ‘Who did the score?’ It’s wonderful.

Also, while I love the Westmore family’s work on Star Trek... Having Stan Winston actually working in this medium... well it was a blast.

The film also felt more lavishly produced than the STAR TREK movies, which it always seems are being treated like the redheaded step child left out in the shed.

This is a film that’s sole purpose is to have a lot of fun.

I was really concerned that the movie wasn’t going to live up to the supremely cool promotional campaign for the movie. Dreamworks has, from the beginning, been treating this AS IF Galaxy Quest had been a real... successful show from 1978 or so. And ya know what? That’s pretty cool. From the gum cards to the vintage ‘Burger King’ style painted glasses to the bouncy flashy balls... GALAXY QUEST’s promo people have done a bangup job, BUT...

There is a general rule in this game which is, “The cooler the shit, the shittier the film is.” Well... That’s not the case here.

Go to have fun. Expect it to suck, believe Harry is a bloated sellout (copyright THE WARRIOR 1999) and that the film is a waste. But you’ll be surprised. I was.

What this film boils down to for me is this. I believe that the folks that made this have been staring at the STAR TREK franchise wondering why they can’t seem to make a good one. Started looking at it from an outside of PARAMOUNT point of view... and just nailed the concept.

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