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post #1 of 9 Old 12-16-09, 10:21 PM Thread Starter
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Galaxy Quest - Blu-ray Review

Galaxy Quest
Starring: Tim Allen, Signourney Weaver, Alan Rickman, Tony Shalhoub, Enrico Colantoni, Daryl Mitchell, Sam Rockwell, Robin Sachs, Missi Pyle, Jed Rees, Justin Long
Director: Dean Parisot
Studio: Paramount
Runtime: 102 Minutes
Rating: PG
Blu-ray Release Date: November 17, 2009

Movie

‘Galaxy Quest’ a science fiction television series much like our very own ‘Star Trek’, had been off-air for eighteen years and the actors portraying the characters on the TV series have been without a job since then. Nearly two-decades have passed since the original television series last aired and the show continues to have a long-standing fan base. These fans have annual conventions where they get to see the stars of the shows unite once again to sign autographs and talk about the show.

Almost all the cast members have tired of the age and repetition of the same thing over and over again, coping with what they have become. Each one have no luck moving on beyond being remembered as their respective characters; all but one, Jason Nesmith (Allen) who basks in the glory each and every chance he can get. Jason played the captain of the space ship on the television series that relentlessly puts himself out there and plays to the audience. Sadly, at the 18th annual convention Nesmith finally comes to a realization that his life has become a joke.

As Jason sulks in his newfound revelation a group of fans come into contact with Jason and request his help on a special mission. Jason sees their request as just another appearance gig to go to and agrees to show up. Unbeknownst to Jason these individuals are actually aliens from another planet and their leader, Mathesar (Colantoni), is truly seeking his attention for a dire meeting. After Jason has a long, alcohol-filled night the aliens appear at his home and request for him to come with them to their ship to converse with Sarris (Sachs), an evil alien who has nearly annihilated Mathesar and his crew’s entire race. Nesmith, surprised and impressed by the authenticity of the situation, still disregards it as reality and orders Mathesar and his crew to fire everything they have at Sarris to destroy him.

Jason, with a newfound excitement about this experience, returns to the rest of the cast and attempts to explain this wonderful experience he just had. Shortly after Mathesar appears again to Jason. Jason then convinces the rest of the cast to be on board to see just what he was talking about. Little do they all know they are in for a lot more than they originally anticipated. The cast find themselves defending against and trying to save what is left of Mathesar and his race from destruction by the evil Sarris.

‘Galaxy Quest’ was a surprise to me when I first saw it years ago. Back when it was released theatrically nearly everyone assumed that since the movie was starring Tim Allen it wasn’t going to be very good – that certainly isn’t the case. What ‘Galaxy Quest’ actually is, is a good science fiction movie that originally was intended as a comedic parody of ‘Star Trek’.

Rating

‘Galaxy Quest’ is rated PG for some action violence, mild language and sensuality. Overall, I found this one quite tame and seems fine to watch with kids.

Video

‘Galaxy Quest’ is presented in an aspect ratio of 2.40:1 utilizing an AVC Mpeg-4 encoding for the video transfer. It’s worth noting that the original release of the film actually had three different aspect ratios, where the film started out in a 4:3 aspect ratio and then expanded to a 1.85:1 aspect ratio for the next twenty minutes then after that expanding once again to the final 2.40:1 aspect ratio. For this release, the studio incorporated the original 4:3 aspect ratio for the first screen and then once the beginning scene finishes it switches to the full 2.40:1 aspect ratio, bypassing the 1.85:1 aspect ratio. From my understanding, the image is not cropped for the 1.85:1 sequences; the matte was just opened up adding picture information on the sides of the image.

Regarding the video transfer itself, I would say that it is pretty decent and a fine improvement over the standard DVD edition of the film. For a movie that is now a decade old, it is good, but generally this transfer still will not wow the audience. I found that the image lacked a little bit of fine depth and detail throughout the film. Colors in the movie appeared solid, but never really providing the extra richness that would have gave the image more dimension. Contrast also seems to be in check and I didn’t have any issues differentiating objects in very bright and very dark sequences. Shadow details are distinguishable while black levels were kept very deep throughout the film.

I did not particularly find a whole lot wrong with the image, aside from the image not “popping.” The overall sharpness and detail level really never impressed me, but they remained present. I did not catch many instances of razor sharp edges or fine details, which leads me to believe a slight amount of Digital Noise Reduction, or DNR, was applied to the image. Aside from that, it still is a worthwhile improvement over the DVD.

Audio

The audio seems to follow suit with the video transfer. The Dolby TrueHD 5.1 soundtrack does a fine job and improves upon the previous release of the film, it still feels lacking in several different aspects.

First off, the dynamics are rather limited. Explosions and action scenes quite often are hardly much louder than any other scene in the movie. That’s not to say they are quiet, but they just lack the oomph and overall dynamic range behind them that would’ve just allowed some of the sound design elements hinted at in this film to shine. Explosions of sorts simply are limited in both the high frequencies and the lows. However, the good thing is dialog throughout the film remains plainly heard, which I think is a more important aspect anyway, given the nature of this film being more of a comedy rather than a pure sci-fi flick.

As far as low frequencies go, the bass is given a noticeable presence all through the film, but never do they seem to reach infrasonic levels that we have become accustom to in so many movies recently. Surround sound activity is noticeable in several instances, but I hardly found myself noticing much else outside of more action-oriented scenes.

Extras

The extras are all included on the same disc containing the film and are as follows:

-‘Historical Documents: The Story of Galaxy Quest’ – a featurette with a bunch of interviews from the cast and crew of the film recounting their experiences on making ‘Galaxy Quest.’
-‘Galactopedia’ – a rather amusing interactive trivia with factoids that pertain to ‘Galaxy Quest’ the fictional TV show as if it were an actual show.
-‘Never Give Up, Never Surender: The Intrepid Crew of the NSEA Protector’ – a featurette on the casting of the actors for the film.
-‘By Grabthar’s Hammer, What Amazing Effects’ – a featurette focusing on the special effects and work done mostly by Stan Winston and ILM.
-‘Actors in Space’ – The cast sharing experiences of their careers and how they came to this film.
-‘Alien School: Creating the Thermian Race’ – an explanation on the creating of the speech for the aliens.
-‘Sigourney Weaver Raps’ – A birthday tribute video from Sigourney Weaver and other cast members to her agent.
-Deleted Scenes – A compilation of eight excised sequences from the movie totaling to about 12 minutes.
-Theatrical Trailer – a single movie trailer
-Thermian Audio Track – an audio track that is dubbed over the movie in the alien language. It’s actually pretty funny to turn this on, though I admit I didn’t watch the entire movie like this.

Overall

‘Galaxy Quest’ has become one of my more watched comedies in the last few years and I am glad to see it finally on Blu-ray. Though the video transfer and audio soundtrack are hardly much to write home about, I find them sufficient enough for the movie’s sake. I know for certain that a movie like this one I find myself less inclined to care about the audio and video and more interested in enjoying the actual film itself. The actors in this movie are wonderfully cast and I still find myself laughing at many aspects of the film even after multiple viewings. I would most certainly recommend everyone checking this movie out. It’s a great time and even if you don’t find yourself humored as much as I was, I think it still makes for a plausible sci-fi action flick.

Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read." - Groucho Marx
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post #2 of 9 Old 12-18-09, 11:35 AM
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Re: Galaxy Quest - Blu-ray Review

Thanks again for another great review Jon.

One question, overall, with a movie like this that was never created to take advantage of the Blu-ray format, would you double up if you already owned the dvd?

Thanks!
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post #3 of 9 Old 12-18-09, 11:58 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Galaxy Quest - Blu-ray Review

Tex, I own the DVD and I found it worthy of the upgrade. If you still are on the fence, you could always wait until it goes on sale, which I am certain that this movie will and pick it up quite a bit cheaper. That way you would have less remorse for the upgrade.

I really didn't think the DVD transfer was all that great, though, so the decision to upgrade to the blu-ray was a no brainer for me.

Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read." - Groucho Marx
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post #4 of 9 Old 12-19-09, 04:42 AM
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Re: Galaxy Quest - Blu-ray Review

I really did not expect this film to be any good, but was pleasantly surprised...excellent review again Jon
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post #5 of 9 Old 12-24-09, 10:08 AM
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Re: Galaxy Quest - Blu-ray Review

Thanks for the reply Jon.

My wife absolutely loves this movie, so it looks like Santa may have found a nice little stocking stuffer.
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post #6 of 9 Old 01-26-12, 09:31 PM
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Re: Galaxy Quest - Blu-ray Review

This is probably the only sci-fi movie in this or any other universe that my wife actually enjoys A LOT and wants to revisit!
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post #7 of 9 Old 01-30-12, 02:18 PM
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Re: Galaxy Quest - Blu-ray Review

A few of my friends had made vague references to this film over the last few years (never give up/never surrender!), but I only managed to watch it for the first time not too long ago. I'm glad I did - I thought it was hilarious. I haven't purchased it yet though...$18 is too much
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post #8 of 9 Old 01-30-12, 03:49 PM
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Re: Galaxy Quest - Blu-ray Review

This is one of these movies that will become a classic I am sure. Its so over the top its just funny

Home theater:
Onkyo 805, Yamaha YDP2006EQ, Samson Servo 600 amp
3 EV Sentry 500 monitors across the front, 4 Mission 762i's Surrounds, SVS PB13U sub, Panasonic BDT220, Harmony 1100, Nintendo WiiU
Panasonic PT-AE8000 on a 120" 2,35:1 fixed screen

Living room system:
Sherwood/Newcastle R972, Mission 765's, SVS SBS02's, A/D/S MS3u sub, Yamaha YDG2030EQ
Yamaha KX-393 Tape deck, CDC 805 CD changer, Panasonic BD60, Sony turntable PS-T20
Panasonic TC-P50ST60, HD-PVR & WDTV Live, Harmony 900

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post #9 of 9 Old 02-12-12, 08:45 PM
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Re: Galaxy Quest - Blu-ray Review

Thanks for the review.

I enjoyed this movie and have it on DVD, but won't upgrade to Blu-ray if the video and audio transfers didn't bring big improvements. Hopefully, they'll remaster it in the future and put out a better Blu-ray edition.
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