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  Directed by
  Starring
  Specs
  • Widescreen 2.35:1
  • 16:9 Enhanced
  Languages
  • English: Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
  • German: Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
  Subtitles
  • None
  Extras
  • Deleted scenes
  • Theatrical trailer
  • Awards/Nominations - On Location In Space

Galaxy Quest

Dreamworks/Universal . R4 . COLOR . 98 mins . PG . PAL

  Feature
Contract

The genre of science fiction cultivates a special type of fan. I can guarantee you that in 30 years time we won't be seeing Seinfeld, Ally McBeal or Friends conventions, but Star Trek in particular incites astounding devotion.

Galaxy Quest begins at a huge fan convention, with the stars of a hit 60s show making a guest appearance. Their careers have gone nowhere since the series was cancelled, and their only source of income lies in appearances at conventions and the openings of cheesy computer stores. Jason Nesmith (Tim Allen) is still revelling in his former glory as the ships captain, while former stage actor Sir Alexander Dane (Alan Rickman) is bitter about the role he played, as he was the thespian of the group, yet was reduced to wearing a rubber headpiece.

During the signing, a strange group of people accost Nesmith and ask him to help them resist an evil villian. Assuming them to be another bunch of crackpot sci-fi nuts, he agrees to accompany them to what he believes to be another guest appearance. In actuality, the group are a race of peaceful aliens named Thermians who have mistaken the Galaxy Quest transmissions for 'historical documents'. Because they believe the cast of the show to be great heroes, the Thermians want Nesmith to lead them against their tormentor, a nasty Stan Winston creation named Sarris who wants the mysterious Omega 13 device.

Of course, Nesmith and his 'crew', Dane, Gwen DeMarco (Sigourney Weaver), Fred Kwan (Tony Shalhoub) and Tommy Webber (Daryl Mitchell) are completely unprepared for combat against an experienced warrior, and the resulting attack forces them to search for a replacement Beryllium Sphere on a distant planet.

Star Trek references abound; Allen's perfect William Shatner turn, Weaver's token female whose only role is to repeat what the computer says, or bit player Guy's frantic fear as he realises that extra crew members always die on away missions, there's plenty to keep sci-fi buffs amused, but the film will have others laughing as well. CGI junkies will be happy with the work by ILM, including a tribe of hundreds of small blue creatures that mine the spheres, and a huge rock creature that seems to have nothing on its mind bar crushing everything it sees to death.

"It's a rock! It has no vulnerable spots!"

  Video
Contract

The picture is terrific, well up to Dreamwork's standards. Sharpness is very good, shadow detail is as good as you could want, and there's virtually no film dirt or flecks to distract from the visuals. I didn't notice any overt grain, and colour was rich and fully-saturated. The MPEG 2 bitstream maintains a very high bitrate throughout, and the loose compression maintains detail and definition swimmingly.

Honestly, what more could you want?

  Audio
Contract

Hmmm, perhaps some more care taken with the audio...

Though the general clarity of the dialogue is fine, with nicely produced effects and score, I noticed edgy distortion on some shouted dialogue which I didn't remember in the theatre. Worse than this was a loud pop in the right channel at 64:30, which really surprised me. I haven't heard pops for a long time, and certainly not from a competent studio. Hopefully it's just a problem with the test pressing, and not with the final product.

This was a shame, as otherwise this is a nice enough soundtrack, if a little safe and conventional, definitely biased toward the front of the soundstage.

  Extras
Contract

Sadly, there aren't many extras here, just a simple featurette, the theatrical trailer and a bunch of deleted scenes. Of these, the deleted scenes are the most interesting. By and large, they're actually extensions of existing scenes which take the storyline in different directions, for example, one reinforces a previous relationship between Nesmith and DeMarco which was only vaguely hinted at in the theatrical version. Another scene has Dane mind-melding with the rock creature, which was an interesting Trek gag but overall a bit silly considering that he isn't actually an alien, so it was probably best deleted.

A neat gimmick from the US edition, the 2-channel Thermian soundtrack, is conspicuously absent. There are apparently some hidden extras on the US disc, which I have not yet discovered. I think they may be missing as well.

  Overall  
Contract

Apart from the flaws in the audio, this is a nice disc. I was tempted to pick up the US DTS disc, but dropped the idea when I considered that I probably wouldn't watch it more than a couple of times. Though it's a fun film, it's fairly lightweight entertainment.

It would make an excellent addition to the DVD library for any serious hardcore Trek buffs, though. Those people will buy anything.


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      And I quote...
    "A good-natured sci-fi spoof that will be enjoyed by most, and especially by folk who are down with the Trek."
    - Paul Dossett
      Review Equipment
    • DVD Rom:
          Pioneer 103(s)
    • MPEG Card:
          RealMagic Hollywood Plus
    • TV:
          Mitsubishi Diva 33
    • Amplifier:
          Yamaha DSP-A1
    • Speakers:
          Richter Excalibur
    • Centre Speaker:
          Richter Unicorn
    • Surrounds:
          Richter Hydras
    • Audio Cables:
          Monster RCA
    • Video Cables:
          Monster s-video
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