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