Galaxy Quest (Deluxe Edition)
by Dean Parisot (Director)
Review by Charles Mohapel
DreamWorks DVD ISBN/ITEM#: B001S86J0I
Date: 17 May 2009 List Price $14.98 Amazon US / Amazon UK
It's hard to believe that it will be ten years ago on December 23rd that Galaxy Quest burst on the North American filmgoing public's consciousness, but that is indeed the case.
Having previously viewed Galaxy Quest in the theater with a group of fellow science fiction fans, we were delighted to see that while the story begins at a media convention that is a thinly disguised Star Trek convention, it is a gentle tongue-in-cheek homage to the fans, even the most rabid fanboys and fangirls. When a group of very unusual aliens known as Thermians show up, they don't really appear that strange when compared to the attendees at the convention. Having patterned their civilization on the long canceled Galaxy Quest TV series, they now come in search of the original cast, believing them to actually be heroes. And the adventures are only beginning...
Having attended 22 previous World Science Fiction Conventions in various cities across the United States, Canada, England, Scotland, and Holland, I can tell you that many times the Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation is accepted by someone not actually associated with the film or TV series that had won. This was not the case at Chicon 2000, the 58th World Science Fiction Convention in Chicago, as the vast majority of those at the awards ceremony were simultaneously startled, amused, and gratified by the sight of Director Dean Parisot and Robert Gordon who co-wrote the screenplay rushing onto the stage like a pair of giddy teenagers to accept the award in person. As you can well imagine this was met with great enthusiasm and applause by the crowd. They beat out the likes of The Matrix, The Sixth Sense, The Iron Giant, and Being John Malkovich, so you know that the competition was no cakewalk.
The single disc contains:
Galaxy Quest 101 minutes
My favorite scenes in the film were of the attendees at the Galaxy Quest convention and of the individual teleportation pods.
Listening to the cast and crew, you quickly see which of them are science fiction fans and which ones aren't. Neither David Howard nor Mark Johnson are what many would call real fans since they call Star Trek fans "Trekkies", not "Trekkers", even though Howard calls himself a Star Trek fan. Nicholas Meyer owns the DVD calling it "a keeper", but he carefully points out that loyal Star Trek fans are "Trekkers", not "Trekkies". Even if he does not personally categorize himself as one or the other, he has enough respect for the serious fans to make the distinction. Robert Gordon, Dean Parisot, Tim Allen, Sigourney Weaver, and Justin Long love science fiction and are fans.
I enjoyed this featurette immensely from start to finish, beginning with the title since a key element of the film itself is the mistaken belief of the Thermians that episodes of the TV show that have reached them are actual historical documents.
Never Give Up, Never Surrender: The Intrepid Crew of the NSEA Protector
Initially the producers didn't want anybody who had played in any science fiction movies, particularly not Sigourney Weaver, but she pressed them to be part of the film. So much of the character of Tawny Madison came from Sigourney, particularly the long blonde wig, and she delighted in playing a female role who was the complete opposite of Ripley from Alien.
Speaking of polar opposites, Enrico Colantoni who can be seen as toughguy SWAT team member Sgt. Gregory Parker on Flashpoint plays Mathesar, leader of the Thermians.
Sam Rockwell laughs as he relates how he ripped off Bill Paxton's character from Aliens, the whiny neurotic Pvt. Hudson, even going so far as to speak to Sigourney Weaver about the movie.
I absolutely loved this featurette because it gives you so much insight into the making of Galaxy Quest that you feel like you were a special invited guest who was privileged enough to spend time with everyone involved.
By Grabthar's Hammer, What Amazing Effects
From spending money on topnotch special effects to having the bridge set on a giant gimbal, you can see that this production used their budget wisely and didn't cut corners.
Alien School: Creating the Thermian Race
Actors in Space
Sigourney Weaver Raps
Thermian Audio Track
While I don't own the original DVD released in 2000, the new version has a big sticker saying that it is "Digitally Remastered" and has "New Special Features including Sigourney Weaver Raps". Whether you own the original DVD, but it's scratched and needs to be replaced, or you want a good laugh you can share with your family and friends, run out and buy a copy of the 2009 release of Galaxy Quest. Or order a copy online and have it delivered right to your door. And the lenticular cover rocks.