2020/09/14

Galaxy Quest

Galaxy Quest

My 80s and 90s movie reviews seem to be resonating with readers. This response makes sense, given that many have rightly despaired of Hollywood ever treating classic franchises with anything but contempt.

Multiple commenters brought up one film in particular that seems worthy of review, especially since it has the same director as the new Bill & Ted streaming release. 

By popular demand, it's time to revisit the late 90s cult classic Galaxy Quest. Not only is it one of my favorite comedies, it easily stands among my favorite SF films and is just plain one of my all-time favorite movies.

In addition to the accolades I already heaped on it, Galaxy Quest is the best Star Trek movie. Sure, it's an homage that parodies Trek in much the same way that Spaceballs riffed on Star Wars, but Galaxy Quest succeeds where even Mel Brooks failed. It beat its source material at its own game.

Don't take my word for it. Fans at a major Star Trek convention ranked Galaxy Quest the seventh best film in the series, and that was only because of backroom politicking that bumped Quest down from its starting position in second place. Key members of the creative team who've worked on Star Trek movies since The Voyage Home declared that it deserved to be #1.

If you're unfamiliar with Galaxy Quest, stop reading this and go watch it right now.

For those who are at work or school or prison or somewhere that won't let you stream videos, Galaxy Quest follows a simple yet ingenious premise.

NOTE: this movie is  now old enough to drink, so my spoiler filter is off.

The washed-up stars of a 70s SF TV show, forced to subsist on convention signings and ribbon cuttings since the program's cancellation, get much more than they bargained for when what they think is another promo gig turns out to be the real thing.

Facing genocide, an alien race has turned to "Historical Documents" from Earth, i.e. television transmissions, for guidance--especially old episodes of Galaxy Quest. They lovingly reproduce the series' iconic ship down to the last bolt and dab of paint; then enlist the original crew to lead them in battle.

Galaxy Quest NSEA Protector

Unfortunately, the "crew" don't have their act together--figuratively or literally.

Galaxy Quest Crew

Besides the shock of finding themselves embroiled in a real interstellar war, the actors must confront the interpersonal grudges and rivalries that have alienated them from each other as they're thrust back into their old roles. It's the command performance of a lifetime, with stakes far higher than bad ratings.

In design and execution, Galaxy Quest not only meets the standard set by Star Trek, but sometimes surpasses it. Quest is like the rare cover version of a song that draws out the original's latent potential and takes it to the next level.

Now imagine that the cover song is by "Weird Al" Yankovic, and the metaphor is complete. Don't let the comedy distract you from the fact that the artist is a bona fide genius.

I'd go so far as to argue that the best comedy writers are the greatest writers of all, since comedy is the hardest genre to execute successfully. And Quest is hands down the best SF comedy.

Why does Galaxy Quest deserve such praise? The simplest reason is that it's a sci-fi, parody, ensemble cast, character-driven, comedy/adventure film that works on each and every one of those levels.

Galaxy Quest is indeed a sterling comedy. Rare among contemporary films in this genre, it doesn't stoop to lazy one-liners or crude slapstick for cheap laughs. Instead, it takes the high road of crafting situational humor based on solidly established characters and how they react to their strange circumstances.

NB: critics lament how modern comedies have largely replaced actual jokes with glib pop culture references. Ironically, Galaxy Quest is one of the few movies that could've gotten away with that gimmick. Yet its makers exercised admirable restraint in weaving SF tropes into the story subtly and organically through the actors' performances.


The near-subliminal references even extend to the movie's visual design.

Galaxy Quest Protector

After soaring over the highest hurdle, Galaxy Quest goes for the gold in the sci-fi, space opera, and characterization categories. Though the science is extra squishy (just how I like it), the movie more than compensates by adding new speculative elements that are just as satisfying as their Trek analogs.

The digital conveyor, FTL flight via black holes (later explored seriously by Interstellar), and the Omega 13 device are just some of the masterful conceits that establish Quests's own consistent mythos.

One added benefit of rewatching the film was realizing just how gorgeous it is. The conceptual and technical design; even the costumes, are on par with the finer Trek movies while having a pleasing aesthetic all their own.

I was also surprised by how the movie's visuals influenced the descriptions in my own writing. Though I didn't realize it at the time, the bridge of the Protector clearly inspired the wheelhouse of the Serapis from Nethereal.


The special effects only lose a few points because some of the CG looks a little outdated now, but it still beats any Syfy Channel original movie.

In the action department, Galaxy Quest largely departs from the submarine warfare style of most Trek installments and depicts pulpier, though honestly more exciting, space battles. The character-level gun play and fisticuffs retain comedic elements while portraying deadly consequences, sometimes in direct contrast to the TV show's camp.


At the movie's low point, Jason Nesmith (aptly portrayed by Tim Allen) must confess to the alien leader Mathesar that he and his "crew" are not what the aliens believed. They are simple actors pretending to be space explorers on sets made of plywood, tinfoil, and Christmas lights.

Galaxy Quest Jason and Mathesar

Mathesar's race--the Thermians--are perfect examples of the purely material beings described by master SF author John C. Wright. Mathesar states that his people lacked transcendent beliefs, and that they interpreted all earth television broadcasts as historical documentaries.

This is strong evidence that the Thermians are purely material--or at least materialistic--beings with no spiritual dimension to their existence, who as such have no longing for a reality above and beyond the mundane world.

Wright convincingly reasons that sapient beings who are fully "at home" in the material world would have no need for or concept of fiction. Their libraries would have only textbooks and newspapers; not pulp magazines and novels. The Thermians therefore see no difference between fiction and lies.

The interactions between guileless Thermians and duplicitous humans brings about one of the movie's core moral themes: What value, if any, does fiction have? When asked why humans would go to the considerable effort and expense of creating such elaborate charades, Nesmith admits to Mathesar that he doesn't know. He makes halfhearted mention of entertainment, but it's clear that he's never thought through the basis of his craft.

It is here, in the last act, that Galaxy Quest goes from being a workmanlike and thoroughly enjoyable parody to a work of genius.

The cast of the Galaxy Quest TV show start the movie as petty, frustrated characters, depressed by their inability to be who their talents and dispositions call them to be. They're suddenly given a final, all-or-nothing chance to redeem themselves.

Galaxy Quest Jason Nesmith

The crew of actors are given multiple chances throughout the film to escape the conflict and return home to their old lives. Each time, they decide to stay, even after learning that they're in mortal danger. Jason and his crew don't just suffer adversity with patience. They willingly accept terrible risks for the sake of strangers from a distant world.

Even more impressive, Galaxy Quest answers its thematic question about the value of art; not through dialog, but through the characters' actions. Traditionally, protagonists in mistaken identity plots prevail by either tapping into hidden strengths, or by leveraging their native abilities.

The cast of Galaxy Quest do both--employing their acting chops to overcome challenges while growing into their fictional roles for real. By the end of the movie, Tony Shalhoub's character really is the Protector's chief engineer. Reluctant pilot Tommy flies her with confidence and skill. Jason is established as the ship's master and a leader of men.

Yet it's the final touch that cements this film as a triumph. The human crew of the Protector have defeated their adversary and saved the Thermian race. At this point, a lesser story would have ended with the aliens gaining knowledge of fiction and losing some of their innocence, possibly with a trite speech about faking it until you make it or the inspirational value of noble lies.

Instead, the Thermians are convinced that Nesmith's confession was itself a ruse, and their faith in the "Historical Documents" is fully restored.

Now, I anticipate criticism on the grounds that our heroes leave the Thermians in ignorance. Isn't the bitterest truth preferable to the sweetest lie?

To which I reply that anyone making such an objection is equivocating. Equating fiction with deceit is the Thermians' mistake, made because they're fundamentally blind to the difference. Trying to distinguish between a lie told with malice and a story told in service of the truth is a Sisyphean task where Thermians are concerned, and no futile task is morally obligatory.

And because we, the audience, are not Thermians, we can see how Galaxy Quest upholds the wonder and beauty of space exploration, the good of heroic virtue, and the truth that the value of good fiction transcends the world of base matter.

59 comments:

  1. Galaxy Quest may be my favourite movie, ever. It's a great comedy, a great scifi, a great pulp action movie and a stirring myth, and even a beautiful insight into the value of mythic heroism. After all, the characters in trying to emulate mythic heroism become heroes when the opportunity presents, because they know in their blood and their bones what heroes ARE.
    And that is the truth of the myth. Had they never told those stories, never felt that belief in the stories, then when that ship arrived they could not have known what a hero was or how to be one.

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    1. You have good taste. And I agree that while the material cause of those stories is falsehood, their final cause is the truth.

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  2. This movie benefits from the fact that the makers really love the source material. What starts out as a parody turns into a love letter, with the faith of the convention going fans (as well as the Thermians) being rewarded. Their knowledge saves the day. It's a very pleasant movie, from a happier time.

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    1. This and The Mummy remake are two rare movies produced during the nadir of the Low 90s malaise that captured something of the early 80s pulp spark.

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  3. An outstanding movie that I totally missed when it first came out. It shows respect not only for the source material, but also for the fans, something that Trek itself could barely be bothered to do even at the best of times.

    Looking back though, it's amazing how much this movie got right. Even the casting was perfect - the comedic Tim Allen playing it totally straight without camp (and this somehow works perfectly!), Alan Rickman delivering that goofy "By Grabthar's hammer" line to the dying Thermian - I'm convinced nobody else could have pulled that off.

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    1. It's baffling that this movie didn't perform better on release. It came out the same year the Phantom Menace stoked audience's appetites for sci fi, but long enough afterward that Star Wars shouldn't have stolen its thunder. Nostalgia for the old space franchises was at a fever pitch. By all accounts, Galaxy Quest should have attained moderate blockbuster status.

      "It shows respect not only for the source material, but also for the fans ..."

      Quest is as much a love letter to trekkies as it is to Trek.

      "I'm convinced nobody else could have pulled that off."

      So were the producers of the planned TV show that's since been scuttled.

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    2. "So were the producers of the planned TV show that's since been scuttled."

      I was assuming Rickman's death put the nail in that particular coffin. Taggart is the best captain, but the dynamics would be very different without Rickman's character (or with a replacement lacking his 'gravitas').

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    3. You're correct. I read an interview with Tim Allen in which he expresses the same sentiments you did. They just felt it would be wrong to proceed without Rickman.

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  4. Well said, both your review and the comments.

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  5. I was never a Star Trek fan growing up, but still saw this in theater regardless. The group of us were the only ones there, unfortunately. Nonetheless, we had a fantastic time. The movie is funny, action packed, and surprisingly touching.

    It's been decades since I saw it there, but it remains a favorite today. Its more pulpy focus over Star Trek has also helped it to age much better than the majority of that franchise.

    Never give up! Never surrender!

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    1. At the time, my wife and I were the only people we knew who liked the movie. Now it's a well deserved classic, but back then not everyone got it.

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    2. The lukewarm reception Galaxy Quest received upon release boggles the mind. I was working at a movie theater at the time, and I recall the trailer and marketing materials being at least workmanlike.

      Phantom Menace has its warts, but it spearheaded a minor cinematic pulp revival back in 99--the year we also got Brendan Fraser's Mummy. Galaxy Quest fits right in with--and is the best of--those three.

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    3. You might have to put it in perspective with its time. Cinema in the late '90s was overly serious and drab.

      You had The Matrix, the Sixth Sense, American Beauty, Cider House Rules, The Green Mile, Dogma, Cruel Intentions, Blair Witch, Arlington Road,Bicentennial Man, Eyes Wide Shut, Fight Club, and American Pie starting the teen sex movie revival, and many other such films. Aside from The Mummy, there wasn't much else new that was in the pulp vein.

      Now why it didn't take off like Austin Powers 2 did I don't know. But even that one had the boost of being a sequel to a movie that was also a cult hit at first.

      Boy, looking back and comparing 1989 with 1999 does not make the latter look good, at all.

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    4. Look at all the movies that released in 1989. That year was a treasure trove of hits and cult classics.

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    5. JD has me convinced that Star Wars was a lightning strike that halted and partly reversed pop culture's slide into 70s nihilism. The reprieve lasted twenty years. Then we got cultural ground zero in 97.

      That's one reason why I credit the 1999 mini pulp resurgence to Phantom Menace. It's also how you know Episode I was a pale shadow of its predecessors. ANH salvaged pop culture for two decades. TPM only managed about six months.

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    6. The top ten highest grossing movies of 1989 worldwide:

      1. Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
      2. Batman
      3. Back to the Future Part II
      4. Look Who's Talking
      5. Dead Poets Society
      6. Lethal Weapon 2
      7. Honey, I Shrunk the Kids
      8. Ghostbusters II
      9. The Little Mermaid
      10. Born on the Fourth of July

      1999:

      1. Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace
      2. The Sixth Sense
      3. Toy Story 2
      4. The Matrix
      5. Tarzan
      6. The Mummy
      7. Notting Hill
      8. The World Is Not Enough
      9. American Beauty
      10. Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me

      The shift is obvious when you see it that why, but it did't stop there.

      2009:

      1. Avatar
      2. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
      3. Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs
      4. Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen
      5. 2012
      6. Up
      7. The Twilight Saga: New Moon
      8. Sherlock Holmes
      9. Angels & Demons
      10. The Hangover

      Aside from Up (the last great Pixar movie) it's all subversive sludge with a pulp veneer.

      2019 completes the down-slide:

      1. Avengers: Endgame
      2. The Lion King
      3. Frozen II
      4. Spider-Man: Far From Home
      5. Captain Marvel
      6. Joker
      7. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker
      8. Toy Story 4
      9. Aladdin
      10. Jumanji: The Next Level

      That is pathetic. Aside from Joker (which needed to put on a cape costume in order to even be made) and Avengers there is nothing here that will be remembered ten years now as anything other than an embarrassment.

      Comedies are dead, killed by the Frat Pack's incessant 2 hour long gross-out improv movies. Animation was consumed by Shrek-style cynicism and Pixar became one with the borg mouse. Action movies became safe, sterilized formula for those who find the concept of Justice too scary. And even horror is mostly the 400th braindead slasher or a near three hour nihilistic slog where nothing means anything but boy is the cinematography drab and is everyone miserable!

      Compared to the late '70s through early '90s, it's a whole different world.

      All those that wanted the return of '70s cinema, except even more vapid and pointless, can breathe a sigh of relief. They finally got their wish.

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    7. A thought: While Episode I is, IMO, the weakest of the Prequels, it's also the only one that really has any sense of hope, adventure, and fun. II and III, while better made, are much darker and grimmer. That's necessary based on how Lucas had laid out the story, but it does mean that they couldn't have spearheaded any pulp revival in 2002 or 2005.

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    8. 1989:
      1. Uncut, black tar Pulp
      2. Comic book pulp
      3. Time travel pulp
      4. Lowest common denominator chick comedy
      5. Subversive litfic
      6. Meat and potatoes cop movie marred by 20/20 hindsight
      7. Fun family comedy (back when Disney still made those)
      8. Bastard offspring of Lovecraft and Campbell, but the best of Campbell.
      9. Still really popular, and it kicked off Disney's silver age, but pretty subversive when you look closely.
      10. Dreary nihilistic litfic.

      1999:
      1.Pulp by an accidental legend who clearly learned the wrong lessons about why pulp works.
      2. Hitchcockian horror by an accidental golden boy who clearly learned the wrong lessons about how Hitchcock works.
      3.Bog standard Whedon piece nobody realizes is subversive because it's cute.
      4. Cyberpunk actioner by accidental icons who clearly learned the wrong lessons about what makes cyberpunk work.
      5. Didn't bother.
      6. Pulp
      7. Lowest common denominator chick flick (The more things change ...)
      8. Once-great pulp series reduced to self-parody
      9. Dreary litfic
      10. Degenerate comedy which sadly is better than anything the can produce today.

      2009:
      1. We hate you.
      2. We hate you.
      3. We hate you.
      4. Lowest common denominator spinning robots
      5. We really hate you.
      6. Recusing myself since I never got why people liked this.
      7. Obligatory lowest common denominator chick flick
      8. We hate you.
      9. We hate the Christ.
      10. We hate you.

      2019:
      1. We hate you.
      2. We hate you.
      3. We hate you.
      4. We hate you.
      5. We hate you.
      6. They hate you.
      7. We hate you.
      8. We hate you.
      9. We hate you.
      10. We hate you.

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    9. I gotta ask where you see the subversion of Little Mermaid? I see it with a lot of the renaissance but not that film. What am I missing?

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    10. "Disobeying your parents isn't that bad because you'll still get what you want in the end with no consequences."

      The only Disney from that period I can still enjoy is the Disney Afternoon since it was done by comic and animation veterans who clearly respected their audience.

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    11. Is that really a fair take on the story though?

      I dunno. Not that I have any emotional investment in the film and I don't care to defend Disney particularly, but I'm not sure if that was the point you were supposed to get out of the film.

      Or maybe you are and I just never looked at it that way. I dunno.

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    12. Disobey dad (F U Dad!), made deal with the female Devil....and it works out in the end because she’s hot. No epiphany, No repentance, no heroic act of virtue on Ariel’s part except at the beginning when she saves Eric (out of lust or not).

      You could argue most female protag Disney films basically suffer from that...that said protag gets her win because she’s pretty and that leads others to help her...but Ariel is easily one of the most sexualized of the female protags in a film aimed at kids. Belle kept her clothes on, as did Wendy, Aurora, Snow, Jasmine and Cinderella. Ariel rocked them cockel shells and had a sexy, naked silhouette moment during the selling of her soul for her trans debut. She made a sexual impression on me when I was 9. Belle didn’t when I was 11.

      Needless to say, Little Mermaid is not one of the old films we will ever let the kids see.

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    13. Semi-related to the above, we have let the kids see Quest for Camelot. I think the film might belong to that last bit of heroic tale telling of the late 90’s before the full plummet into nihilistic poz.

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    14. Besides the valid demerits that JD and Durandel mentioned, Ursula's appearance and mannerisms are based on a drag queen, and the story was edited to remove the original's Christian context--especially the ending.

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    15. All of the SJWs I know HATE TLM for a variety of reasons ("Ariel just looks pretty, doesn't do anything, and gives up everything for a maaaaaaaaan" is the big one).

      Those are valid points - as I said, I never really thought about it. I'll defend Beauty and the Beast though.

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    16. Beauty and the Beast is a story about love and redemption, and hands down my favorite of the Disney Silver Age. I'd say it's worth defending, and arguably the best of the lot, on several levels. Aladdin is fun, but not as good.

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    17. The Little Mermaid has a lot of problems and guts Andersen's ending (itself a reaction against the 'win a soul through marriage' idea from the 19th-century Undine, I believe), but it does feature Triton's self-sacrificing love for his daughter. Also, while Ariel is definitely underclad, Jasmine is the first to use her sexuality for her ends.

      Beauty and the Beast is showing its age for me a bit, largely because I don't think it really knew what to do with Belle's character, and as I develop a greater appreciation of the Villeneueve original, the Disney version starts to suffer in comparison.

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  6. This is the only Star Trek movie we own, and really the only one I care to own. First Contact is fun, but if I never watch it again, I'll be none the poorer.

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    1. Galaxy Quest has a higher pulp quotient than any official Trek film.

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  7. You’ve mentioned The Mummy in the comments twice, Brian, may I be the first to request you do a post on it?

    The Mummy is to Indiana Jones as Galaxy Quest was to Trek, and both were far better than the nearby released official prequels/sequels.

    A discussion on humor might also be an interesting post. I can’t watch old Mel Brooks films...they don’t land anymore with me, but I can still watch old Martin Short or Steve Martin films and find them funny, such as The Three Amigos.

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    1. And I should note to those who never saw The Three Amigos, it’s the same plot as Galaxy Quest.

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    2. I don't mean to rain on your parade, but you're far from the first ;)

      You are right about Three Amigos, however. It was to Westerns what Galaxy Quest is to science fiction.

      Now that you mention it, both movies surpassed Mel Brooks parodies of the same two genres.

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    3. I suppose several of Brooks' movies only work relative to the works they parodied. The Star Wars parody doesn't work anymore because that franchise really has become The Search for More Money. Some of the others are even more dated.

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    4. Several Brooks movies that had me in stitches as a kid don't even elicit a chuckle anymore. I'm not sure what it is.

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    5. Space Balls is a beer-and-friends movie. Knowing the lines is funnier than the delivery of the lines. But it's very much a movie that is either great or DEAD flat depending on the context; and like some other Mel Brooks films it's more an absurdist romp through the tropes than even a proper parody.

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    6. If you take out the jokes, I think movies like Spaceballs fall apart. The plot of Krull holds together better. In fact, the plot of Spacehunter holds together better, too.

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    7. You both make good points. It jibes with Misha Burnett's observation that Spaceballs is a pastiche parody of the sci fi genre. Galaxy Quest is a comedy set in a fully realized sci fi universe.

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    8. I just recently re-watched Tommy Boy and, your opinion on the comedy aside, if you took out the jokes the story would make perfect sense. It tells the story of a loser who loses his father and has to grow up to be a man.

      I was surprised at how well it holds up, though a lot of it is carried by Chris Farley's genuine goodhearted nature. That just means they knew how to make a successful vehicle for him. No coincidence that it came out in 1995.

      Wherever talented comedy writers are these days it is not Hollywood.

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    9. Black Sheep could be seen as very similar to Tommy Boy by the "take out the jokes" metric (and possibly timely, given the election theme and various shenanigans pulled by the antagonists).

      Who will be our Gary Busey?

      Odd to see a working formula discarded so thoroughly. On a somewhat related note (to Farley movies), one could probably analyze all the SNL spinoff movies and see that the ones that worked are the ones that had a plot that kinda works without the cheap laughs (e.g. "Night at the Roxbury" vs. "It's Pat!").

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    10. Blues Brothers and Wayne's World went beyond their roots as simple joke characters and told complete stories. I'd argue the same with Chris Farley's works and Adam Sandler's early movies.

      Whatever your opinion on how funny the jokes are, they do tell actual stories with decent characters that are aiming for something. In Adam Sandler's case, they're about gammas becoming normal people.

      I think the shift started with Judd Apatow's movies gaining prominence in the early '00s. Take out the improv comedy and nothing much actually happens or matters much.

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  8. Quest forever!

    I wonder what your thoughts are on 1987's Three O'Clock High. It's practically forgotten, Robert Ebert called it "fascist", but I think it's a great film about how fear destroys our character and that it must be confronted.

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    1. Ebert's go to phrase when he either doesn't understand a film or when film disrupts his own politics a bit too much.

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    2. I loved Three O'Clock High. Not sure how anyone could call it "fascist" unless it's fascism to acknowledge (in the spirit of the classic Westerns it's quasi-parodying) that sometimes the courage to meet violence with violence is the only way to keep your self-respect, even if you fully expect to lose.

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    3. I'm aware of it, but I haven't seen it.

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  9. A lot of the Star Trek Easter Eggs went over my head at the time, but I always appreciated and enjoyed this film. It's good to see that over time it has gained a larger following.

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    1. Only the best parodies make that kind of lasting impression on people who aren't familiar with the source material.

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  10. Brian

    Galaxy Quest was an enjoyable movie. Like Ted and Bill, Quest was a wholesome movie. It underscored how entertaining the audience didn't prevent it from engaging in the Great conversation. I found it inspirational at times.

    I suspect it didn't do well at the box office because the Trekkies were offended a totally non Trek movie was superior to the 'canon'.

    Trek has always vacilliated between returning to its pulpy roots and trying to be a 'serious' scifi oeuvre. Hence why the even numbered ones sucked; while the odd numbered were passable (yes Wrath of Khan was the exception)

    xavier

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    1. Xavier,
      I consider myself a life long Trekker and I loved the movie because I could feel the love for Trek coming from the folks who made it. The fans (those folks everyone tells to "get a life") are the heroes. Their belief in the really cool world of what can be literally saves the world. The fans are given their due. It had this Trek fan smiling ear to ear.

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    2. Chris,

      Thanks for the correction. I enjoyed Trek and even had the Mego action dolls when I was a kid and liked the tech manual a lot but I wasn't really into it like others.

      It still makes me wonder why Trek has always vacillated with its pulpy roots. I'd have loved to see a pulpier take of Star Trek.

      xavier

      xavier

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  11. You could also say that what the Thermians learn is that all growth requires envisioning that which is not yet but could be; that to live is to dream, not just to be, and that to dream is to inspire -- and that inspiring others is one of the best ways to recover our own inspiration. (Cf. Alexander Dane's scene with Quellek, which makes me cry just as much as Spock's final words in the engine chamber, or Kirk's voice breaking on the word "human".) Great review, Brian!

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  12. In their own way, the Thermians are the ultimate fans, they just didn't know it was a show. What they worshipped was the world the show presented, where brave and resourceful beings explore the unknown and overcome adversity. They wanted their world to be that world.

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    1. And then they went out and made it, which is the ultimate expression of fan wish fulfillment and the main reason why Galaxy Quest was a tribute to the fans as much as the source material.

      Put another way, the Thermians are stand-ins for the film makers.

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  13. I enjoyed both when they hit the theaters. First Contact used to be my favorite Trek film. However, upon re-watching both, I can say that First Contact has not aged well at all, while Galaxy Quest has aged like fine wine. GQ's well-crafted story is timeless and is still relevant today. Galaxy Quest has taken the crown.

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    1. Interesting. I'm curious what flaws you found in First Contact.

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