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Galaxy Quest (Deluxe Edition) - comedy DVD / science fiction DVD review
Rated PG by the Motion Picture Association of America curledupdvd.com rating: 4 stars
Featuring: Tim Allen, Sigourney Weaver, Alan Rickman, Tony Shalhoub, Sam Rockwell
Director: Dean Parisot   Distributor: Dreamworks Video
DVD release: 12 May 2009   Runtime: 102 minutes
(1 disc)
Format: AC-3, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, DVD-Video, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC

DVD features: Aspect ratio 2.35:1, Audio (English - Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround), Subtitles (English, Spanish, French, German, Wiccan, Japanese, Chinese), Historical Documents: The Story of Galaxy Quest, Never Give Up, Never Surrender: The Intrepid Crew of the NSEA Protector, By Grabthar's Hammer - What Amazing Effects, Alien School - Creating the Thermian Race, Actors in Space, Sigourney Weaver Raps, Deleted scenes, Thermian audio track, Theatrical trailer

For anyone who has been a fan of Star Trek, Galaxy Quest is a welcome homage. If you've ever been to a Star Trek convention, trained yourself to perform a Vulcan Salute (perhaps using rubberbands to keep your pinky and ring finger together), or pretended your home was hit by photon torpedoes by dramatically flinging yourself against walls, you'll love Galaxy Quest.

Tim Allen stars as Jason Nesmith, the actor who played Quincy Taggart, a Kirk-like starship captain on an early-'80s space adventure show called Galaxy Quest. Rounding out the cast was Tech Sergeant Chen played by Freddie Kwan (Tony Shalhoub). Wunderkind pilot Laredo is played by Tommy Webber (played by Daryl "Chill" Mitchell as an adult). Buxom bombshell Tawny Madison is played by Gwen DeMarco (Sigourney Weaver). Token alien crew member Dr. Lazarus is played by pompous Shakespearean actor Alexander Dane (Alan Rickman). The equivalent of a Star Trek Red Shirt (the expendable character who goes on away missions never to return) is portrayed with cowardly excellence by Sam Rockwell, who plays Guy Fleegman. He played Crewman Number 6 in Episode 81 and didn't last beyond the first commercial. His cowardice from being that guy in real life is painfully evident in every scene past the first half of the film.

The crew of the NSEA Protector makes group appearances at conventions (sans Guy, of course), knowing that their early '80s success may have been the zenith of their careers. Nesmith embraces this fate, knowing a lot about the show and the trivia pertaining to it. He can answer the nerds who confront him about what happened in which episode. The rest of the cast accept their fate begrudgingly, entertaining little if any banter with the fans.

When Jason is approached by what he assumes to be fans, he accepts an invitation to help them out. He thinks it's an acting gig, but in reality, it's an actual trip into space. The beings who approach him are actually Thermians, aliens who've fashioned their existence after the Galaxy Quest television show, under the impression that the show was a form of historical record and the actors were the actual crew of a heroic team. They need help with some intergalactic bullies who have all but destroyed their race.

The crew of the Protector try their best to do right by the Thermians, against difficult odds. The icing on the cake that is Galaxy Quest is when Jason must call upon the encyclopedic knowledge of über-nerd Brandon (Justin Long) to save the day. It's the kind of Hollywood magic that brings an air of pride to the otherwise scorned and wedgie-chafed Trekker.

Galaxy Quest isn't directly about Star Trek, but it's an obvious enough likeness, and it pays homage to Trek and its fans without making fun of either - and it manages to make it damn funny. It's lightning in a bottle with a combination of sharp writing, a great cast, and perfect timing. Look for Rainn Wilson (The Office's Dwight Schrute) in his first film role.

Extra features include making-of featurettes and in-depth interviews with the makers of the film and cast, a special effects featurette, and deleted scenes. By Grabthar's Hammer, get your copy today!
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reviewed by Eric Renshaw
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