Galaxy Quest (Blu-ray)

January 28, 2012 8 Min Read

Review by: Matt Brighton

Plot: What’s it about?

No, don’t adjust your set…It’s not Star Trek! Galaxy Quest was an unexpected success and now makes it’s way onto DVD. Being a Dreamworks disc, you know it will feature a lot of extras and…indeed it does. Galaxy Quest is the story about a group of washed up actors who, at one time, had a successful TV show about outer space (it’s NOT Star Trek). The show has since been cancelled, but has a huge cult following, and the group of actors has been reduced to playing conventions and opening computer stores. There’s the “Commander” Jason Nesmith (Tim Allen) who is the unquestionable star of the bunch, and after all these years is still hamming it up for the trekkies, er-Galaxy Quest fans. At his side is the lovely Gwen DeMarco (Sigourney Weaver) whose only job on the TV show was to repeat what the computer said.

When we see Gwen, it’s obvious that she was only cast for her body, and has a tendancy for wearing satin bras and keeping her suit unzipped halfway (you hear me complaining?). And rounding out the “major stars” is the always great Alan Rickman, who is usally a better villian than hero, but in this movie he makes it work. The cast has been going on this way for over 15 years, and has their own little petty jealousies between them, most noteably between Gwen and Jason, but they manage and just keep thinking of their paychecks and are back on track. While at a convention, Nesmith is approached by strange people wearing the Galaxy Quest (that’s the name of the show) garb and is asked for help…their planet needs him! Nesmith, acting like he’s heard it a million times before (and probably has) ignores them. The story takes a swing when Nesmith is in the restroom and hears some kids making wise cracks about how big a losers that the crew is and that the rest of the cast doesn’t even like Nesmith. Feeling angry, he goes home and gets drunk…only to be awakened by the same “aliens” who were at the show the previous day. It’s then that Nesmith comes crashing through the doors and tries to convince his fellow cast members to come back on the spaceship with him to help him save the world. And, having no other prior engagements, they do. It’s at this time that the movie really takes off, we are introduced to the Thermians. We quickly find out that they have been able to intercept our TV signals and have pattered their whole way of life around the TV show “Galaxy Quest”. They do not see it as a TV show, however, they see it as a form of historical documentation and take the actors for their real roles!

The crew is instantly pitted against foes and thrown into an intergalactic war and now they must take all of their supposed skills that they learned on the TV show and defeat the enemy! Galaxy Quest is so real, it’s very believeable. The story is out there, it just took some imagination to make it into an enjoyable movie like this. While the coinsidences that will parallel the Star Trek and Star Trek: The Next Generation fans is unquestionably the aim of the movie, it makes it nonetheless enjoyable. Heck, even the menus look like the opening to a Star Trek episode.

Video: How does it look?

“Galaxy Quest” comes to Blu-ray in fine form, sporting a new digital 2.40:1 AVC HD transfer that looks nothing short of magnificent. I recall the original standard DVD looking good as well. Colors are very strong and later on when the crew is in space, the blacks are very dominant. Naturally if you’re only watching to see how much of Sigourney Weaver you can see, well that’s fine too and her blonde locks have never looked better (it’s a wig, by the way). There’s no hint of edge enhancement in the least, detail has been improved over the previous edition and suffice it to say that “Galaxy Quest” has never looked better; not that it looked bad before.

Audio: How does it sound?

When the movie first debuted on standard DVD it was available in two formats: a Dolby Digital and a DTS. Well those days are behind us (or are they) and we’ve now got a fully uncompressed Dolby TrueHD track that blows the previous editions out of the water. While dialogue is the central focus here, there’s actually a good deal of action and simply resonates through your surround sound speakers. The ending battle scene takes the cake as the best example of sound in the film. Simply put, “Galaxy Quest” sounds amazing.

Supplements: What are the extras?

It’s been a decade since “Galaxy Quest” was in theaters and we’ve got a new slew of featurettes and some of the “vintage” featurettes with some new segments by the cast and crew. First the same “commentary” track is included, though it’s still in Thermian audio. I never quite got that joke. The most major of the supplements start off with “Never Give Up, Never Surrender” with some vintage and new interviews with the cast and crew of the film. A few of the minor players have gone onto successful careers like Missi Pyle, Justin Long and Sam Rockwell and all are present to offer their comments on the film and its impact on them as actors. Next up is “Historical Documents: The Story of Galaxy Quest” this is mainly an interview with the filmmakers as they came up with the story and Allen and Weaver offer their two cents as well. The rest of the supplements focus on the effects and a glossary of terms from the “Galaxy Quest” universe. And yes, we do get to see Sigourney Weaver do a rap (it’s vintage when this sort of rap was somewhat still permittable). A few deleted scenes and the original theatrical trailer (in HD no less) are also included.

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