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Never Give Up! Never Surrender!
July 23, 2014 12:54 PM   Subscribe


 
This is the best thing, ever. Thanks for posting it! One of my favorite movies.
Allen: At first I thought there were two Sigourney Weavers. Literally, what was she thinking? It looked like a smaller movie at first. She had just come off one of the “Aliens,” and I said why would she do this?
LOL
posted by zarq at 12:58 PM on July 23 [4 favorites]


Galaxy Quest was one of the more pleasant surprises I've experienced watching a movie. I expected it to be terrible-- I mean, Tim Allen? Come on!-- but it turned out to be genuinely clever and funny and enjoyable.

One of the rare send-up-of-a-genre movies that is both a good send-up and a good example of the genre. (Cabin in the Woods being the grand champion of this particular category....)
posted by dersins at 1:03 PM on July 23 [46 favorites]


You have not watched this movie, truly, until you've seen in Thermian without subtitles.
posted by Buttons Bellbottom at 1:04 PM on July 23 [14 favorites]


Back when GQ was released, The Self-Made Critic reviewed it:
"Galaxy Quest zoomed into the theaters this Holiday season with all the promise of another installment of The Phantom. (Slam Evil!) It stars Tim Allen. Yuck. Its trailer made it seem less intelligent than an episode of Beavis and Butthead. Lame. Truth told, you looked at it, and decided to go see Deuce Bigalow for the third time.

Well you woulda made mistake, because Galaxy Quest is hysterical.

I'm not quite sure how it happened. All the elements for a total flop are there. sci-fi humor has historically had as much success as movies about cheese. Movies about TV shows have recently been the dregs of the movie-going season. (Mod Squad anyone?) Tim Allen is still Tim Allen.

And yet the magic is there. Tim Allen plays a pompous, untalented hack actor. So he's really well cast. Alan Rickman plays the Shakespearean actor whose career has been lowered forever by playing roles beneath his ability. So he's perfectly cast. (Robin Hood: Prince of Surfers anyone?) Sigourney Weaver plays the buxom blond sex object, so she's...wait."
It's a totally genre-savvy scifi movie. How can anyone not love that?
posted by zarq at 1:04 PM on July 23 [21 favorites]


I'll never forget going to see Galaxy Quest on a rainy monday night in Santa Barbara with my now wife. We had no idea what we were going into see, which made it all the better. The theater was basically empty except for us, loudly snorting through the entire movie. It's such a great movie.

"By Grabthar's Hammer...what a savings"
posted by mcstayinskool at 1:05 PM on July 23 [16 favorites]


It's easily the third-best Star Trek movie, at least. And I'd put it above Cabin, probably, although nobody really loses in that comparison.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 1:05 PM on July 23 [5 favorites]


One of the rare send-up-of-a-genre movies that is both a good send-up and a good example of the genre.

If you count Galaxy Quest as a Star Trek movie, it keeps the odd-numbered-bad, even-numbered-good rule alive.
posted by EmGeeJay at 1:08 PM on July 23 [25 favorites]


One of my ALL-TIME favorites, and I love that all the actors are so enthusiastic about it too! You'd expect at least one or two to be too famous/busy to take part in an interview for MTV's website, but no, they all want to come talk about how awesome it is. Amazing.
posted by leesh at 1:08 PM on July 23 [4 favorites]


One of the rare send-up-of-a-genre movies that is both a good send-up and a good example of the genre.
This.
posted by CheeseDigestsAll at 1:09 PM on July 23 [1 favorite]


Oh, this is great. I LOVE this movie. But I am so glad that I never saw the trailer before seeing the movie.
posted by maudlin at 1:10 PM on July 23


This makes for an amazing double-feature with the documentary Trekkies.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 1:16 PM on July 23 [2 favorites]


Tony Shalhoub (Fred Kwan/Tech Sgt. Chen): Initially, I went in to audition for Guy Fleegman. Then they cast Sam [and] offered me the part of the Asian guy. I said, “I’m not going to play an Asian guy, but I’ll play a guy that plays an Asian. How about that?”

Holy shit. This is sublime.
posted by boo_radley at 1:17 PM on July 23 [37 favorites]


I had the same experience as some of you - I went in with exceedingly low expectations and ended up laughing my ass off the entire film. And then being genuinely moved by Alan Rickman. And then wanting to cheer at the end. The moment when Tim Allen communicates with the geeks back on Earth for the first time - my inner fan boy cheered and wept with joy. It is all real. It is.
posted by Joey Michaels at 1:18 PM on July 23 [6 favorites]


This is sublime.

Rickman gets his just due for being so awesome in this movie, and so many others do as well. But DAMN I love Shalhoub in his role. His zen-like enjoyment of the transporter ride was transcendent.
posted by mcstayinskool at 1:22 PM on July 23 [12 favorites]


SUCH an awesome movie.

Might be time for a rewatch.
posted by suelac at 1:22 PM on July 23


Watching made it clear that the writers Got The Joke.
posted by plinth at 1:24 PM on July 23 [2 favorites]


OMG the excrutiatingly long exit from the space station. So great.
posted by mcstayinskool at 1:24 PM on July 23 [4 favorites]


It's free on Amazon Prime Instant right now as well.
posted by Lyn Never at 1:30 PM on July 23 [5 favorites]


I would watch this oral history. It's just about as funny as the movie.
posted by boo_radley at 1:35 PM on July 23 [1 favorite]


"What? What was that?"
"Uh, nothing."
"I heard some squealing or something!"
"Oh, no. No, everything's fine."
"But the animal is inside out."
"I heard that! It turned inside out?"

*KABLOOEY*

"And it exploded."

"Did I just hear that the animal turned inside out, and then it exploded?!"
posted by zarq at 1:35 PM on July 23 [3 favorites]


I saw it with my wife-to-be about a six months after it came out, in a discount theatre in Goleta. I noticed that the theatre was more full than it should have been, but I attributed it to hey, cheap tickets.

And I loved it, the entire crowd loved it, and at the end, the entire theatre burst into applause. After being out for ages, people still applauded. Because it was that good. And it still is.
posted by happyroach at 1:37 PM on July 23 [1 favorite]


Gwen: "They're not ALL 'historical documents.' Surely, you don't think Gilligan's Island is a...."
[All the Thermians moan in despair]
Mathesar: "Those poor people."
posted by zarq at 1:38 PM on July 23 [49 favorites]


We love this movie so much that a showing of it was one of the features of our 20th anniversary party last year.

Will now read article.
posted by not that girl at 1:39 PM on July 23


Pyle: I heard that Spielberg was there. He came and then he saw my character and makeup and decided she should be a bigger part. I was only supposed to be in two scenes and then they realized they didn’t have another female except Sigourney Weaver. And I just think, “Am I in a dream, because this is ridiculous?” So they added the relationship with Tony Shalhoub’s character.
Hah, ah, shit.
posted by pmv at 1:43 PM on July 23 [2 favorites]


OH GOD so many times when annoyingly nosy people ask me what I do for hobbies in my spare time (and yes I can in fact tell the difference between smalltalkers and busybodies) I like to tell them I enjoy reviewing historical documents and ALMOST EVERY TIME NO ONE FUCKING GETS THE JOKE.
posted by elizardbits at 1:44 PM on July 23 [36 favorites]


"I've got one thing to do on this ship. It's a stupid thing, but it's mine".

Such a great, great movie. One of those movies you saw getting word of mouth buzz all over the nerdy part of Usenet (that is, Usenet) back then.

"Maybe you're the plucky comic relief?"
posted by MartinWisse at 1:51 PM on July 23 [17 favorites]


I like to tell them I enjoy reviewing historical documents and ALMOST EVERY TIME NO ONE FUCKING GETS THE JOKE.

I think that joke only works if you have the right haircut.
posted by Joey Michaels at 1:55 PM on July 23 [4 favorites]


It's free on Amazon Prime Instant right now as well.

... and there goes my afternoon.
posted by rouftop at 1:55 PM on July 23


HEY! Don't open that! It's an alien planet! Is there air? You don't know!
posted by octothorpe at 2:02 PM on July 23 [16 favorites]


Is it My Favourite Movie's Day on mefi??

You have a last name, Guy!
Do I? DO I?
posted by fshgrl at 2:03 PM on July 23 [9 favorites]


Not minors, MINERS. Man, this movie is so good.
posted by 23skidoo at 2:04 PM on July 23 [4 favorites]


The clip of the scene I referenced above (where the young fan learns its all real) is here and just as awesome as I remember.
posted by Joey Michaels at 2:06 PM on July 23


This is great, but I can't help but wish it was an in-universe oral history.
posted by ckape at 2:06 PM on July 23 [7 favorites]


I'm such a sucker for this movie. Rickman losing it and seeming to really believe he's invoking Grabthar's Hammer just kills me every time.
posted by ob1quixote at 2:08 PM on July 23 [2 favorites]


"Oh, that's not right!"

That is one of my favorite lines, right next to "And it exploded" with that weird deadpan smile and odd cadence and makes it just one of the best deliveries ever in the history of film.

The fact that Sam Rockwell ad libbed or came up with it makes it even better.

Also, the fact that Tony Shalhoub's character was almost entirely ad hoc and they were basically writing him in to the story as they went along was amazing. I always wondered why he seemed so out of step with everything going on, but it now makes sense that he really was just out of step with everything around him (the character, at least). When they used him for the bad guy in disguise at the end, it worked perfectly, because he had been so "out of it" through the whole movie, and everyone just kind of accepted that THAT was how he was, that his odd behavior made it perfect. And then the Omega 13 thing and how that all turned out wonderfully (great use of the Deus Ex Machina McGuffin, too).
posted by daq at 2:11 PM on July 23 [9 favorites]


"Look around you can you form some kind of rudimentary lathe?"
posted by Joey Michaels at 2:14 PM on July 23 [27 favorites]


"Am I too late for Alexander's panic attack?"

I haven't worked with too many See-rious Ac-tors but every now and then when someone gets mad or throws a tantrum backstage I quietly mutter "Five curtain calls..." and am always surprised when somebody else gets it. My wife and I bonded over that line. It is a good movie.
posted by Spatch at 2:15 PM on July 23 [10 favorites]


Deleted scenes.

I'm just realizing my whole day is shot.
posted by Joey Michaels at 2:20 PM on July 23 [2 favorites]


Let's get out of here before one of those things kills Guy!
posted by sexyrobot at 2:23 PM on July 23 [12 favorites]


I just put this on for my girlfriend and I and she loved it! She stayed awake through more than half the movie and even rewatched the final part she slept through which tbh is unheard of in the Carillon household! I'm glad I got to share and glad this movie was made.
posted by Carillon at 2:26 PM on July 23 [2 favorites]


In fact, the early drafts were called “Galaxy Quest: The Motion Picture.”

I love it!
posted by brundlefly at 2:35 PM on July 23 [2 favorites]


"Maybe you're the plucky comic relief," is something I often say to people in high pressure /stressful situations where they seem on the verge of losing it. They don't ever get it, either.
posted by barchan at 2:36 PM on July 23 [10 favorites]


"Look around you can you form some kind of rudimentary lathe?"

GET OFF THE LINE, GUY!

I came here to say that, but you beat me to it.
posted by Fleebnork at 2:52 PM on July 23 [5 favorites]


Oh, and...

Your Monte Cristo sandwich is a favorite among the crew.
posted by Fleebnork at 2:54 PM on July 23 [2 favorites]


Ok, one last thing.

The Galaxy Quest website was made to look like a crappy geocities fan site, back in the day.
posted by Fleebnork at 2:59 PM on July 23 [24 favorites]


Never give up. Never surrender.
posted by Go Banana at 3:10 PM on July 23 [1 favorite]


'This episode was badly written!" is one of my favorite lines from anything.
posted by Nimmie Amee at 3:11 PM on July 23 [14 favorites]


In fact, the early drafts were called “Galaxy Quest: The Motion Picture.”

There could not possibly be a more perfect title for a hypothetical sequel to GQ than this.

Also, I am, thanks to this thread, watching Galaxy Quest right now, and shit I totally forgot Dwight Schrute was in it.
posted by dersins at 3:13 PM on July 23 [4 favorites]


Oh man THIS MOVIE, the fact that all the "show actors" really came off as a group of long-upfront actors who are kind of stuck with working together every year in some form was the strongest part.

Also, it inspired one of the greatest Yuletide Fanfics ever which is great as the whole movie is an entire extended love letter to fan culture There Are Things We Don't Talk About In This Fandom
posted by The Whelk at 3:19 PM on July 23 [4 favorites]


Great article - “Steal your costume.” Ha!

I remember that this looked cheesy, but then I read a review when it came out, so my husband & I took a chance on it and went to the Cinerama Dome (pre-Arclight), because even a crappy movie is better at the Dome. Of course, we loved it.
posted by mogget at 3:28 PM on July 23


The Galaxy Quest website was made to look like a crappy geocities fan site, back in the day.

This is fantastic. Verisimilitude, world-building and marketing at the same time. Who'da thunk it?
posted by Spatch at 3:35 PM on July 23 [1 favorite]


His zen-like enjoyment of the transporter ride was transcendent.

"That was a hell of a thing."
posted by Greg_Ace at 3:39 PM on July 23 [9 favorites]


Great article - “Steal your costume.” Ha!

Fantastic call-back at the end of the article:
Weaver: Tell Bob, tell Dean, we are all ready for a sequel. I still have my costume!
Sigourney Weaver just sounds like an awesome person. And her sense of humor makes me think she'd fit in well here.
posted by zombieflanders at 3:42 PM on July 23 [4 favorites]


For some reason, the first time I watched Galaxy Quest I did not enjoy it at all, but I rewatched it last week and I have no idea what was wrong with me the first time. The biggest surprise for me was Enrico Colantoni, who I have really enjoyed in other roles. I had completely forgotten that he played Mathazar, but he was perfect. Amazing blend of comedic instincts with some real pathos underlying it. Everyone is well cast, but I think getting that role right is critical to making the whole movie work, and he just nails it. I'm surprised he isn't mentioned more when GQ comes up.
posted by Pater Aletheias at 3:57 PM on July 23 [4 favorites]


I love Galaxy Quest. I was fortunate enough to not know anything about it the first time I saw it. It makes me wonder: if they had competently marketed this movie as a high-budget homage/parody, is it possible that would've ruined the pleasant surprise and kept it from becoming a cult favorite?

I'll be interested to see how Guardians of the Galaxy does at the box office.
posted by Riki tiki at 4:05 PM on July 23


And because of YOU PEOPLE I am now watching this with Mrs Fleebnork. I love how the Thermians walk, with their hands mimicking their feet in front of them.
posted by Fleebnork at 4:11 PM on July 23 [2 favorites]


I'm surprised he isn't mentioned more when GQ comes up.

Suspect it's because he's under fairly heavy makeup, and even though I know and love Enrico Colantoni from Veronica Mars, I can barely recognize him in GQ.
posted by suelac at 4:16 PM on July 23


And the little throwaway line in the back room of Tech Value. Guy is trying to put the moves on the female employee and you barely hear her say "but you live with your mother."

I'm almost live blogging the movie at this point, so if that's not cool, I'll stop.
posted by Fleebnork at 4:18 PM on July 23


I discovered this movie first on DVD and realized that both Justin Long and Daryl Mitchell were also in one of Mrs. Mosley's favorite TV shows at the time, "Ed". Given that Mitchell's character in the TV show is confined to a wheel chair, it threw me to see him up and about. Then I found out that in the few years between the filming of "Galaxy Quest" and his start on "Ed", he had a motorcycle accident that left him paralyzed.

A sad note, but his injury didn't diminish his comedy one iota, and it was a joy to watch him hold his own with Michael Ian Black every week.
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI at 4:28 PM on July 23 [6 favorites]


Count me as another who was expecting a terrible movie. I remember coming out of the theater shocked and confused, and nervously, timidly asking my friends, "Was... was... was that... great?", and having them all respond almost in unison "THAT WAS GREAT!"
posted by Flunkie at 4:32 PM on July 23 [2 favorites]


You have not watched this movie, truly, until you've seen in Thermian without subtitles.
For anyone who thinks that Buttons Bellbottom is just joking here, this is an actual bonus feature on the DVD.

Yes, I have watched it.

Yes, it is great.
posted by Flunkie at 4:36 PM on July 23 [17 favorites]


"Does the rolling help?"
posted by Fleebnork at 4:50 PM on July 23 [1 favorite]


even though I know and love Enrico Colantoni from Veronica Mars, I can barely recognize him in GQ

oh my god what how what
posted by elizardbits at 4:57 PM on July 23 [1 favorite]


Holy shit is that Rainn Wilson in the deleted scene in the reactor room?

On preview: apparently yes (but didn't ctrl+f for Dwight in this thread, oops)
posted by olinerd at 5:05 PM on July 23 [1 favorite]


I love Galaxy Quest. I was fortunate enough to not know anything about it the first time I saw it. It makes me wonder: if they had competently marketed this movie as a high-budget homage/parody, is it possible that would've ruined the pleasant surprise and kept it from becoming a cult favorite?

I've often wondered about that. It seems that everyone I know who's seen this movie expected it to be terrible (how could it not be terrible?) and was totally won over by it. I think its own underdog status helped to sell it.

I'm willing to place it on the list as the second best Star Trek film, if only because there probably should be a Star Trek film on top of a list like that.
posted by eyeballkid at 5:07 PM on July 23 [3 favorites]


Galaxy Quest slapped me upside the head out of nowhere. I was living on Maui and went to a friend's house for the evening and this was the very last videocassette I was interested in renting that night. My Lord, the laughter was painful. Endorphin city.

Sometimes, everything comes together and just clicks. That's Galaxy Quest. Last year I showed it to my wife, who can be a tough nut to crack when it comes to comedy. She lost it, and we quote lines to each other regularly. I'm evangelical about this movie -- it could solve global problems, I'm convinced of it.
posted by vverse23 at 5:08 PM on July 23 [2 favorites]


I just got to the point of Alan Rickman gleefully chewing the scenery in the airlock. Ha ha!

And almost immediately afterward you see the Thermians suffocating to make you sad.

I love this movie.
posted by winna at 5:10 PM on July 23 [1 favorite]


Several of us from work saw this last year at the Alamo Drafthouse, mainly on lark. I was so happy to find it actually was as good as I remembered it being.
posted by beowulf573 at 5:12 PM on July 23


I can't remember the line, but there's another well-placed moving moment when Commander Taggart tells Malthazar that the Thermians already have a great leader.

I think part of what elevates this above the typical parody is that there's the creators took time to make sure there was depth and history for all of the characters. Like it wasn't just "har har Star Trek jokes." There are stakes and emotions and a story and the comedy erupts from the truth of those things.
posted by Joey Michaels at 5:15 PM on July 23 [8 favorites]


Also it's great how in the final scene with Saris shooting everyone, Guy is the only one not shot.
posted by Fleebnork at 5:29 PM on July 23 [18 favorites]


"Does the rolling help?"

I just want to point out that Tim Allen totally does the Picard Maneuver when he gets up from rolling. I cackled.
posted by Elementary Penguin at 5:31 PM on July 23 [7 favorites]


I'm willing to place it on the list as the second best Star Trek film, if only because there probably should be a Star Trek film on top of a list like that.

Wrath of Khan is definitely better, but if we only had Wrath of Khan and Galaxy Quest as Star Trek movies, that wouldn't be so bad.
posted by Elementary Penguin at 5:33 PM on July 23 [7 favorites]


There are stakes and emotions and a story and the comedy erupts from the truth of those things.

Not only that but Taggart genuinely outsmarts Saris in a way that doesn't feel out of character. (They're dragging mines!) Landing the final battle with a genuine "holy shit!" moment at the end of your space comedy? Damn, Galaxy Quest. DAMN.
posted by greenland at 5:42 PM on July 23 [6 favorites]


me love so much
posted by shockingbluamp at 5:58 PM on July 23 [1 favorite]


What killed me is that on first viewing I expected the bridge scenes to be completely fake, you know, where the camera shakes one way and the actors pretend to stumble to and fro, in keeping with the cheesy premise. But they surprised me -- they put the entire stage on a freakin' hydraulic rig and shook it to hell. That was awesome.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 6:04 PM on July 23 [4 favorites]


The thing that's depressing about movies like Galaxy Quest is that they come along sporadically every so often as if to remind you what dreck is being served up most of the time.

Why should it be 10-15 years between genre movies where you find yourself remembering how much fun a movie can be if they put as much work in the plot and characterizations as they do into the visual effects?

This isn't a great movie, but it's a good movie, and the fact that it stands out like a shining beacon in its field is a really sad testament. [OK. I'm done sucking the joy out of things -- you can now return to quoting your favorite bits.]
posted by Nerd of the North at 6:07 PM on July 23 [1 favorite]


Don't worry, you can't possibly suck the joy out of it.
posted by Flunkie at 6:08 PM on July 23 [8 favorites]


OK. I'm done sucking the joy out of things

By Grabthar's hammer, that shall not happen!
posted by Greg_Ace at 6:21 PM on July 23 [4 favorites]


I wanted to echo how wonderful the Signourey Weaver line about her costume is, it's as funny as anything in the movie - and I LOVE that movie - saw it in the theater TWICE. The first time, like everyone else, I was dead sure that any movie with Tim Allan in it could not be good. In all fairness to those of us who made that assumption, we were only wrong the once!
posted by jeffen at 6:23 PM on July 23


The moment where Taggart is waking up drooling to the floor.

This was the moment that made it okay to root for this churlish buffoon. Because he was hungover and alone in his beautiful sterile home, and you knew he needed what was coming. But you didn't know what was coming, and he didn't know he needed it.
posted by dragonsi55 at 6:24 PM on July 23 [2 favorites]


I just want to point out that Tim Allen totally does the Picard Maneuver when he gets up from rolling.

He actually does it all through the movie.

It is awesome.

No one mounts a chair like Riker, though. Guy should do it for ultimate perfection.
posted by winna at 6:40 PM on July 23 [2 favorites]


One of my great delights of the past year was discovering that my wife and brother-in-law had never seen GQ. I got my hands on a copy and set a date to watch it; they were griping good naturedly about me making them watch some cheesy SF movie. At various points we are laughing so hard we have to rewind scenes to catch what we missed and the rest of the evening is spent with is throwing out random lines and snorting with laughter.

I love GQ for many reasons, but seeing my wife laugh that hard at a movie she thought was going to be a cheese fest is now one of the biggest.
posted by nubs at 6:47 PM on July 23 [9 favorites]


"I remember that sound. That's a bad sound."
FYI Amazon Prime in the US has only an English version with English subtitles.
"Look. I have one job on this lousy ship. It's stupid, but I'm going to do it, okay?"
posted by Buttons Bellbottom at 7:01 PM on July 23 [5 favorites]


Rockwell: We all went to a big 20th anniversary of “Alien” with Sigourney.

Weaver: I actually wanted to go as Gwen, but I wore regular clothes. But I did keep on the blonde wig.

Mitchell: The part in “Alien” when Sigourney was in her panties? Tim shouts out “Yeah, baby!” Now here we are in an intense moment, trying to act like we didn’t see it, having some dignity – and Tim screams “Yeah, baby!” Everybody started laughing.

Rockwell: Tim really liked saying, “Yeah, baby.”
I like how Tim Allen comes off exactly as you'd expect.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 7:08 PM on July 23 [3 favorites]


OK I can't be the only one re watching right now. How was there no mention in the oral history of a young Rainn Wilson in apparently his first adult role?
posted by muddgirl at 7:12 PM on July 23 [2 favorites]


"What is this thing? I mean, it serves no useful purpose for there to be a bunch of chompy, crushy things in the middle of a hallway. No, I mean we shouldn't have to do this, it makes no logical sense, why is it here?"
"Because it's on the television show!"
"Well forget it! I'm not doing it! This episode is badly written!"
(30 seconds later)
"Whoever wrote this episode should DIE."
posted by gingerest at 7:40 PM on July 23 [8 favorites]


My friend-of-a-friend Galaxy Quest story:

So the whole rock monster scene, they filmed in a state park in southeast Utah called Goblin Valley. Crazy little place, looks just like that in real life: surreal sandstone towers everywhere, like God's mud garden melting in the sun. (You may have heard about the yahoos who got caught pushing one over last year.)

Anyway, a friend of a friend happened to visit Goblin Valley when they were filming. Only he didn't know they were filming. So he and his girlfriend got really, really high, as one is understandably tempted to do in a place that looks like this, and went wandering off among the hoodoos, giggling.

Where they stumbled across a spaceship.

Let's just say they were briefly but intensely confused.
posted by gottabefunky at 7:56 PM on July 23 [28 favorites]


This was also the first movie to showcase Sam Rockwell's subtle comic genius.
posted by gottabefunky at 7:56 PM on July 23 [2 favorites]


Oh god, the GalaxyQuest website was sheer fucking brilliance. Before I'd heard about this movie, before it was released, a friend of mine sent me a link to the website - no explanation.

So, I'm looking around, and it has so totally nailed the look and feel (EVEN A BROKEN HIT COUNTER! YES!) of small-show genre fandom that I'm really confused because I don't think there's a genre show like this that I've never at least *heard of*.

And then I take another look at the pictures. Wait... that's Weaver and Allen??

I sent a fawning email to the webmasters, because it was just that well done. The reply included the phrase "BY GRATHBAR'S HAMMER".
posted by rmd1023 at 8:07 PM on July 23 [17 favorites]


Oh god, readin the fucking article, I never rallied how the little blue miners are a Barabella riff or hiw Gwen DeMarco was kinda of Barberella all grown up

Wow.
posted by The Whelk at 8:09 PM on July 23


As much as I like the film, I'm really curious what the Harold Ramis-directed version with Alec Baldwin as Taggart would have been like. (Baldwin's SNL sketches like "Greenhilly" are still among my favorite things ever.)

Rewatched it and Tony Shaloub is amazing in this. "Did you see that door sticking? I'll get one of my guys up here with some WD-40."
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 8:25 PM on July 23 [9 favorites]


Shaloub's vaguely stoned/shell-chocked attitude and casual "okay well this is a thing that's happening" is the perfect amount of salt in the movie.
posted by The Whelk at 8:30 PM on July 23 [13 favorites]


Shalhoub is spectacularly funny in that movie.
posted by parki at 9:13 PM on July 23


It makes me wonder: if they had competently marketed this movie as a high-budget homage/parody, is it possible that would've ruined the pleasant surprise and kept it from becoming a cult favorite?

I watched it having heard that it was really funny, well-written, spot-on parody, and it still far exceeded my expectations. It's not just surprisingly good, it's actually good.
posted by straight at 9:22 PM on July 23 [7 favorites]


With the two mentions of Spielberg just walking around and making fairly large changes to the movie, I figured, "Oh, was he an executive producer or something?" so I looked it up on IMDB, and no. Not at all. He's just Spielberg, and he can just fucking walk onto a set and say, "Hey, these two people should have bigger roles," and people are all, "Yeah, we're totally gonna do that. Not like hundreds of people have had input into this thing already. Mr. Spielberg says the girl alien should have a romantic subplot. We're on it."

Also, I never realized that Shalhoub was playing the whole role stoned off his ass, but it makes so much sense.
posted by Etrigan at 9:23 PM on July 23 [4 favorites]


Oh, god, I love this movie so much and it's so great to see it get its due (even if these oral histories are getting uncomfortably close to present-day: "Dawn of the Planet of the Apes: The Oral History"). Or maybe I just miss that "God, I'm old" feeling on learning that something is 25 or 30.

But, yes. So. Perfectly. Cast. I'm a huge fan of Shalhoub, but what a great comic debut for Rockwell, and Rickman balances the tone of his character perfectly, and Weaver gets to send up Ripley -- at least from the beginning of the first movie -- a little bit, but in a very general and un-crayon-drawing-like way, and holy cats somehow the relatively unimpressive Allen just nails both Kirk and Shatner. I did love Colantoni (already recognized him from a forgotten sitcom, Hope & Gloria, in which he was probably the best thing) and missed him being in this round-up. The Thermian crazy upside-down intonation talk is sublime and I wonder how much the actors participated in creating it.

I think that joke only works if you have the right haircut.

Try it with Thermian intonation. "I enjoy reading historical documentsssss...."

I totally forgot Dwight Schrute was in it.

Thing is, you have to watch the deleted scenes to see him. I think he has, like, half a line in the released cut.

I also love the trash line and love that they recognize how important it is in grounding the movie.

The Stahl House was such a good choice. I think it's a great location to give you a sense of everything from Nesmith's isolation to his so-much-better economic situation than his castmates to the sort of glass-house situation in which the actor-character now lives, needing to be always "on" to his fans -- as well as a kind of reference to the Googie future portrayed in the original show (Quest, and Trek).

He's just Spielberg

He's not "just" Spielberg in any way whatsoever, though. It didn't sound like it was pressure at all, it was the brilliant insight that only an outsider can have (who's made numerous blockbusters).

I own this on DVD so I may know it a little better than most.
posted by dhartung at 9:37 PM on July 23 [5 favorites]


I have watched this movie a buncha times, including just now. Couldn't help myself. It's such a feel good movie. I've always thought the Thermians were based on penguins. They waddle, they do a kind of awkward mouth thing when they are laughing or suffering, definitely penguins with a bit of seal flapping thrown in.
What I find kind of interesting is that you take a standard sci-fi epic like Star Trek and Galaxy Quest hangs right in there. It's as if doing this movie out of fun and joy left them a lot of room to simply express some of the fun of sci-fi, the 1930's kind with ray guns and space ships. It's as if the parody was a better sci-fi experience than any of the serious movies I've seen including the latest Trek drek.
Now I just have to get the DVD for the Thermian version.
posted by diode at 9:51 PM on July 23 [3 favorites]


Regarding Spielberg, I am assuming he was around as it a Dreamworks movie and he was part of the gang of three. And since I love Shaloub and Pyle in GQ, both separately and together, I am glad that Spielberg's influence led to more screen time for her and a relationship for them. I think that although coupling off can be sort of an emotional cheat it did help give the movie some of that range of funny and scary and kindness and love. It just hits all the right notes and is endless quotable. Most of my favorites have already been mentioned, but I can quote almost any bit and be happy...

Mom: Where are you going with all those fireworks?
Brandon: Well, the Protector got super-accelerated coming out of the black hole, and it, like, nailed the atmosphere at Mark 15, which, you guys know, is pretty unstable, obviously, so we're gonna help Laredo guide it on the the vox ultra-frequency carrier and use Roman candles for visual confirmation.
Mom: Uh, all right, dinner's at seven.
[Brandon exits. Mom turns to a dubious Dad]
Well, he's outside.
posted by dawg-proud at 10:33 PM on July 23 [12 favorites]


This isn't a great movie

BY GRABTHAR'S HAMMER, PISTOLS AT DAWN.

GQ is the best. It is the best thing.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 10:51 PM on July 23 [6 favorites]


Oh sweet gods.

I saw this with my bestie in a little theater in Cleveland, killing time before our trips home after the US National Figure Skating Championships. Neither of us expected much; we both ended up clinging to each other, pretty much crying from laughter.

My French exchange student is still with me for a week, I think I know what we're doing tomorrow.
posted by MissySedai at 11:07 PM on July 23


I keep a little mental record of perfect little moments of comedy that seem to contain whole worlds of backstory and are executed to perfection to perk me up when maudlin or out of sorts. 30 rock's out of nowhere "Oh Mr Jordan. I know you only make cheese friends when something's bothering you" is near the top, as is the long pause and hesitant, self-loathing mouth wobble before Alan Rickman spits out "what a savings." It is joyous.
posted by Jon Mitchell at 11:18 PM on July 23 [3 favorites]


I told my wife we were going to watch this movie out of nowhere tonight. We've been watching TNG for a while, and she's quite a nerd. But she had always assumed it was some terrible movie and couldn't believe I owned it on DVD. She loved it.
posted by sleeping bear at 12:16 AM on July 24 [1 favorite]


I think this is one of these films that everyone goes into expecting it to not be up to much then loving it. I mean, how could you not? Its just such a labour of love for everyone involved. This and Toy Story means Tim Allen has been in an inexplicable number of good films, and been good in them.
posted by Cannon Fodder at 1:07 AM on July 24 [2 favorites]


The Thermian crazy upside-down intonation talk is sublime and I wonder how much the actors participated in creating it.

According to English friends I watched it with, Thermian is literally just how Dutch people talk in English.
posted by MartinWisse at 2:49 AM on July 24 [9 favorites]


It's nice to see a movie like this getting still getting recognition decades after its release, instead of becoming obscure and forgotten. Does this mean Mystery Men has a chance of getting remembered too?
posted by JHarris at 3:55 AM on July 24 [9 favorites]


This and Toy Story means Tim Allen has been in an inexplicable number of good films, and been good in them.

Clearly, the secret is to start with a part that Tim Allen should definitely not get, offer it to someone else (Alec Baldwin, Billy Crystal), and eventually settle for Tim Allen.
posted by Etrigan at 4:28 AM on July 24


People are right to identify this as both a great spoof of "Star Trek", and a perfect episode of it, and what I especially love is the mechanism that enables the movie to be both: the aliens.

The writer of the script was confronted with the problem of justifying the comic premise: a civilization of technologically advanced aliens mistakes "Star Trek" for a documentary. That's a funny idea, maybe, but not one that makes a lot of sense on the face of it. If they're so damned advanced, why don't they recognize fiction? The very idea beggars belief.

But the writer simultaneously solves the problem and turns the movie into a great "Star Trek" episode by explaining the reason: they don't understand lies. They may not be biologically capable of lying themselves. This makes their culture very, very different from ours, and also causes them to experience dishonesty as a form of malevolent magic.

Now: ultimately that's not an idea that really makes much more sense than the bare comic premise alone. It's tough to imagine how such a species might come about. But the key point is that in science-fiction terms, it works. It's the hook, the simple concept from which a whole lot of things can be extrapolated to drive the engine of the story. It's exactly the kind of idea that people are talking about when they call science fiction a "literature of ideas".

This was an incredibly elegant maneuver on the part of the screen writer.
posted by Ipsifendus at 5:28 AM on July 24 [30 favorites]


I can't find it via search engines, but I remember that when GQ came out George Takei wrote a very sweet review for it in Entertainment Weekly. He was won over by it, of course, but the review had the added poignancy of him speculating on whether he and his TOS castmates would be able to rise to the occasion if the Thermians came for them, that he would like to think they would be.

I love this movie, for all the reasons already mentioned. I especially love Jed Rees, the "And it exploded" Thermian, Teb. He used to be on The Chris Isaak Show as Anson, playing one of Chris's band members, and he was so goddamn funny on that show, it was a joy to see him popping up in a movie.
posted by oh yeah! at 5:42 AM on July 24 [2 favorites]


You were never serious about The Craft.
posted by plinth at 6:20 AM on July 24 [7 favorites]


The Questarian has quotes from Shatner, Takei, Braga, Stewart and Wheaton on their impressions of the movie.
posted by zarq at 6:37 AM on July 24 [5 favorites]


zarq, I love Patrick Stewart's quote: "... the idea that the ship was saved and all of our heroes in that movie were saved simply by the fact that there were fans who did understand the scientific principles on which the ship worked was absolutely wonderful. And it was both funny and also touching in that it paid tribute to the dedication of these fans."
posted by tizzie at 7:21 AM on July 24 [2 favorites]


I love Shatner's quote: "I thought it was very funny, and I thought the audience that they portrayed was totally real, but the actors that they were pretending to be were totally unrecognizable. Certainly I don't know what Tim Allen was doing. He seemed to be the head of a group of actors and for the life of me I was trying to understand who he was imitating. The only one I recognized was the girl playing Nichelle Nichols."
posted by jenfullmoon at 7:29 AM on July 24 [5 favorites]


Does this mean Mystery Men has a chance of getting remembered too?
Sign me up for this please!

This was a great read. I know that all of my friends and I love this movie, but it somehow makes it even better to know that all the actors really love the movie too. I do wish they could have gotten Enrico in on the interview, because more of him is always a good thing.
posted by ashirys at 7:29 AM on July 24


Also, I really appreciated that GQ included female fans at the convention, and one of the uber-geeks was a girl. So often sci-fi fandom gets written as male-dominated, when that's really not the case.
posted by ashirys at 7:42 AM on July 24 [5 favorites]


tizzie, yes! Leave it to him to notice. :)
posted by zarq at 8:01 AM on July 24 [1 favorite]


Also, I really appreciated that GQ included female fans at the convention, and one of the uber-geeks was a girl.

And she doesn't end up as a trophy for a male-uber-geek!
posted by muddgirl at 8:08 AM on July 24 [2 favorites]


Ha, the last part of that Takei pull quote:
And I roared when the shirt came off, and [co-star] Sigourney [Weaver] rolls her eyes and says, 'There goes that shirt again.' ...How often did we hear that on the set? [Laughs.]
posted by ckape at 9:45 AM on July 24 [2 favorites]


I was in the Hugo audience the year that Galaxy Quest won the Hugo for Best Dramatic Presentation. What I remember is that the director and the writer both showed up to accept it, and were excited and uber-geeky about winning, so much so that they forgot the Hugo statuette on the podium and the presenter had to chase after them to give it to them. It was a pleasure to watch.
posted by telophase at 10:20 AM on July 24 [7 favorites]


Ha, the last part of that Takei pull quote: And I roared when the shirt came off, and [co-star] Sigourney [Weaver] rolls her eyes and says, 'There goes that shirt again.' ...How often did we hear that on the set? [Laughs.]

I like how he makes it sound like a Shatner dig even though the first image that comes to my mind when you say, "shirtless Star Trek dude," is Takei brandishing a fencing foil.
posted by straight at 10:45 AM on July 24 [3 favorites]


I first saw GQ on DVD. Mr. Creepygirl had already seen it and was sure I would love the "plucky comic relief" line (I had a habit of using the word "plucky" a lot back then).

I did like the plucky line, but it was this line that had me laughing so hard I couldn't breathe:

"Hi, guys. Listen, they're telling me the, uh, generators can't take it. The ship's breaking up and all that. Just FYI."

Shahloub's low-key delivery of that line was just the perfect opposite of Scotty, and it just killed me. Every time I watch the movie, I have to rewind and rewatch that scene at least once.

I love this movie so much, both for the humor and the genuine affection for cheesy scifi and for fandom. And wow, Spielberg's suggestions (the uberfan should have more of a role, and the alien girl should have a storyline) made the movie better IMO. I'm not a fan of everything Spielberg has done, but he clearly has some great storytelling instincts.
posted by creepygirl at 12:41 PM on July 24 [7 favorites]


I'm so, so glad to see Galaxy Quest getting so much love here. It's on regular rotation at our house and we (my husband, my two teens, and me) quote lines probably more often than we should.

There are parts I tear up at every single time, too. Won't spoil here, but I'm sure a lot of you know which parts get me in the heartstrings.
posted by cooker girl at 12:47 PM on July 24 [1 favorite]


I totally remember Gwen saying "Well Fuck that!" when she first sees the chompers, because it was hilarious, and being really disappointed that it was dubbed on the DVD.
Maybe my memory is just screwing with me.
posted by and for no one at 1:55 PM on July 24


Maybe my memory is just screwing fucking with me.

FTFY.
posted by Greg_Ace at 2:03 PM on July 24


Am I the first one in the thread to mention GalaxyQuest: 20th Anniversary The Journey Continues?
posted by ensign_ricky at 2:04 PM on July 24 [1 favorite]


Nope, I see it above now. Sorry, y'all.
posted by ensign_ricky at 2:19 PM on July 24


and for no one: "I totally remember Gwen saying "Well Fuck that!" when she first sees the chompers, because it was hilarious, and being really disappointed that it was dubbed on the DVD. "

She did!!!

But, they dubbed it out for the final cut to get a PG rating. I wonder if they improved the dub on the DVD from the film version -- the MTV article notes that many considered the original dub to be (probably deliberately) awful.

It's still one of my favorite scenes in any movie. "Whoever wrote this episode should DIE"
posted by schmod at 2:43 PM on July 24 [2 favorites]


Man, it's a good thing I can't do Amazon prime on my TV setup, because I would be lost for the day otherwise...
posted by tavella at 4:06 PM on July 24


One of the first official books of Star Trek fiction was a collection of short stories called Star Trek: The New Voyages, from 1978. It contains a story by Ruth Berman called "Visit to a Weird Planet Revisited" which has Shatner, Nimoy, Kelley, and the rest standing in the teleporter room set when something happens, and they find themselves beamed aboard the real Enterprise and they then have to act their way out of a confrontation with the Klingons.

It's a pretty amusing story and I remember a scene which has Shatner on the bridge, staring at an all-too-real Klingon on screen, and the actor is in a state of barely concealed panic.

So I wonder if the original Galaxy Quest screenwriter read this story? The actual storylines play out differently but the basic concept is remarkably close.
posted by honestcoyote at 4:42 PM on July 24 [3 favorites]


Etrigan: He's just Spielberg
You liked him before he was cool, but now you're totally into an Indie director we've probably never heard of.
posted by IAmBroom at 6:56 PM on July 24


Try reading the whole sentence and see whether that remotely parses.
posted by Etrigan at 7:13 PM on July 24


honestcoyote - most or all of the stories in "Star Trek: The New Voyages" were originally written as fanfic. "Visit to a Weird Planet Revisited" was in Spockanalia #5 from 1970 (which I picked up as a convention-going teenager in the 80s), and it's a follow-up to "Visit to a Weird Planet" by Jean Lorrah & Willard Hunt in 1968's Spockanalia #3, where Kirk, Spock, & McCoy find themselves transported onto the set of the show instead of back on the ship, and have to fake their way through pretending to be Shatner, Nimoy, & Kelley until Scotty can do his transporter magic to switch everyone back to the right dimension. (I'd be surprised if anyone writing Galaxy Quest had seen the 'Weird Planet' stories though.)
posted by oh yeah! at 7:35 PM on July 24 [2 favorites]


Yeah, I had read about the "Visit to a Weird Planet" when I was searching for an online copy of New Voyages, hoping to find a link to share for the "Revisited" story, which in my memory was completely awesome, but I have no idea if I'd still think the same now.

Wish I could have found a link to either. I've never seen "Visit to a Weird Planet", but "Revisited" made a huge impression on me at age 9 or 10 when I was reading any Star Trek fiction I could find.

It is kinda weird a publisher would just collect fan fiction for one of their first productions of original Trek fiction, but it was a great thing to do for the fans and the fanzines. I wish other genre franchises would do something similar. (And maybe they have and I've just overlooked or forgotten.)
posted by honestcoyote at 7:47 PM on July 24


It wasn't that the publisher just collected fanfic - there were several BNF fanfic writers that became pro writers, including the editors of New Voyages Sondra Marshak and Myrna Culbreath. And the wiki says the book was commissioned by Frederick Pohl, they likely were all crossing paths at the Trek/SF conventions of the day. Back then I'm sure the publishing house had to be talked into doing any Trek books, they would have had no idea of how much money they could make off of fandom yet and would probably have balked at the idea of commissioning pro writers with any significant advance.
posted by oh yeah! at 8:17 PM on July 24 [1 favorite]


Huh. I remember "Visit to a Weird Planet" now- I read it way back in the 70s in a Captain's Log-probably where it was published first. Teen me was more into fan retcons and explanations at the time, so I forgot about it. I didn't even remember it while watching Galaxy Quest.

I recall there was quite a bit of satire and humor in the Captain's Logs back in the day, often making fun of the series cliches, or the fanfics that had thinly veiled author inserts.
posted by happyroach at 10:02 PM on July 24


Thanks oh yeah!, I didn't know that part of how the books came together.

Anyone know of any online archives of the old Trek zines?
posted by honestcoyote at 12:24 AM on July 25


I read it way back in the 70s in a Captain's Log-probably where it was published first.

happyroach, what was Captain's Log? My copy of Spockanalia #3 says (c)1968, so I think that has to be the first publication.
posted by oh yeah! at 6:52 AM on July 25


happyroach, what was Captain's Log?

You know, I think I must have been thinking of "Best of Trek, and getting them mixed up with the animated series adaptations by Alan Dean Foster.

Admittedly the Log stores was kind of fanfic in its own right, but seriously, I'm getting old and my memories going.
posted by happyroach at 8:46 AM on July 25


Etrigan: Try reading the whole sentence and see whether that remotely parses.
Did. You still come off as completely dismissive of the world's most successful director... who pretty much everyone in this thread agrees with on this point, anyway.
posted by IAmBroom at 10:57 AM on July 25


It reads as more dismissive of the people who let him walk into a project he's not even remotely affiliated with and start overruling the creative team, but at the same time, if hundreds of people had input into the movie and they still ended up with one speaking female character, Spielberg isn't the guy who comes off like a jackass.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 11:36 AM on July 25 [2 favorites]


You still come off as completely dismissive of the world's most successful director... who pretty much everyone in this thread agrees with on this point, anyway.
...
It reads as more dismissive of the people who let him walk into a project he's not even remotely affiliated with and start overruling the creative team, but at the same time, if hundreds of people had input into the movie and they still ended up with one speaking female character, Spielberg isn't the guy who comes off like a jackass.


I didn't mean for it to be dismissive of anyone, and I apologize for it coming off like that. It was meant in amazed wonder, that he's got that kind of presence -- not that it's unearned, nor that his ideas weren't good. Just that he can do it was what amused me about those anecdotes. If any other studio exec (which it seems was the capacity he was acting in, aside from "just" being Steven Spielberg) had done that, even if the ideas were good, the stories would likely have been more begrudging: "And then some suit from the studio came in and said, 'Hey, there needs to be a romantic subplot here,' and I guess it worked out okay..."
posted by Etrigan at 12:12 PM on July 25 [1 favorite]


Ok, everybody, in the immortal words of Tech Sgt. Chen - group hug.
posted by oh yeah! at 6:04 PM on July 25 [2 favorites]




Etrigan, I was sure IAmBroom was just making a joke, but I guess not. I read it the way you describe it.
posted by nushustu at 11:43 AM on July 29


I'm late to the thread, but I finally got around to reading the article...

I've always loved how, at the end, Gwen's shirt is ripped. Because of course the hot woman's clothing ends up being ripped. And what I especially loved is how there's no explanation for it. You don't see it getting ripped, in the theatrical version, it just ends up being so. That made it even more hilarious for me.

Now I find out that it goes unexplained because of a deleted scene. Goes to show that, sometimes, the funniest elements of a movie come about by accident!
posted by meese at 3:26 PM on August 1 [1 favorite]


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