Galaxy Quest

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1999

These people were on this sci-fi show years and now their careers have dried up except for appearing at conventions. Whew, glad this is just a film and something like this never happens in real life. The dude that plays the captain is an arrogant self-promoting  type who isn’t well liked by by the rest of the cast-so this certainly based on any star of any well know sci-fi show…or is it? There is also a female officer who just repeats what the computer says, the British actor who play the alien science officer but doesn’t like it, the somewhat backwards engineering chief and the once child prodigy navigator who is now a grown man. Plus a guy who once appeared briefly before killed in an episode takes up with them. The Captain is approached by what he thinks are fans wanting to hire him for an appearance. He goes with them and only upon leaving does he find out that this is real. He tries to convince the others it’s real and meanwhile knocks down a fan along the way.  The others think he’s nuts but go thinking it’s a job. They go to the alien ship and find it’s real. Only thing is these alien think the actors are really characters they played and they want them to save them from the evil overlord Sarris. When the actors find out the threat is real they try to leave, but eventually decide to stay and help. They have to play their roles for real, but have to figure out tasks they have only done on screen. They make plenty of mistakes and almost get themselves and everyone else killed. Eventually they put aside their egos and problems. Of course they end up defeating Sarris, they get along and they get a new show! Hooray, never give up never surrender and roll the credits.

The negatives-Not much.

The positives-Great casting all the way around the board. Alan Rickman might get my vote for best performance here. The story is story strong as it’s funny, but shows the impact of TV and the characters manage to grow and come together. The effect both special and make-up were good as well. The film has some very quotable lines. There are times when I see a good price at a store and I proclaim “By Grabthar’s Hammer..what a savings”.

Definitely the best space spoof out there. It takes shots at Star trek, it’s cast, it’s fans and the conventions. I watch this film very often and if anything it’s gotten better over the years. I can’t believe it will be 15 years old next month.

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Upcoming junk and stuff

LIS Smith Really Scared

I still owe a review of Galaxyquest which will happen on Friday because I have watched, but just need time to write it. My home computer went up on me and I wasn’t prepared to buy a new one just yet so right now I write during my breaks at work. So unless I get a new computer soon I won’t be writing during this weekend. One way or another I will be next week. Not sure what movies I’ll review yet, but Robin will likely stop by Monday instead of Sunday and I’ll write on an 80′s video game plus perhaps the return of Dr. Smith’s insult of the week.

Spaceballs

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1987

So this movie is about this summer camp where slackers go to be counselors and cause all kinds of hilarity. Oh, wait … I think that’s actually Meatballs. I got it now. This film is about this small time gym and some of the clumsy people there. They decide to raise money by playing this game and competing against other gym teams. You know if you can dodge a wrench then you can dodge a Spaceball. Huh? Oh, I’ve been told that’s actually Dodgeball, you know Ben Stiller’s funny movie. Now I think I have it. This film is about this Princess Vespa who is supposed to marry a sleepy goofus, but she leaves and this Dark Helmet fella and his boss Skroob go to kidnap her. They want to trade her for her planet’s air. Her daddy hires this guy Lonestar and mog (half man/half dog like you didn’t know) Barf to go and get the princess and bring her back. Since they owe money to Pizza the hut they agree to go on a rescue mission. I’m getting sleep this better get funny soon. It kind of does there are lots plays on names, crotch torture (is that really funny?) slapstick, site gags and more. The baddies try to get the princess and they get advice and a gawdy ring from Yogurt who also shows all the stuff they will sell to make money from this movie (yes, George Lucas this was aimed at you and your fat wallet). He tells them of the Schwartz-hey he just made that up. Later Lonestar struggles to do the Vulcan nerve pinch, but gets advice on how to it right. Heck maybe future Vulcan Tim Russ could have shown him because he had a small part in this film. Eventually there’s a sort of light saber type duel going on with Lonestar and Dark Helmet as they toss more funnies and not as funnies. The baddies transform their enormous ship into a space maid and try to suck the air from the planet -suck,suck, suck! However Lonestar foils their plans and blows the ship up. Parts of the maid fall to planet side to set up a Planet of the apes shot. Lonestar drops off the princess so she can wed the creep. He and Barf go off to eat at a diner where an alien rips out of John Hurt, hey didn’t that happen before? Lonestar realizes he loves the princes and she loves him so he goes and interrupts her marriage to the dorky guy from Too close for comfort. Lonestar found out he’s a prince so they wed, the film tries to squeeze in more jokes and roll the credits.

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The negatives-The music is really dated. There are times where the jokes fall flat or there isn’t much funny going on. This film isn’t on the level of Mel Brooks best films like The Producers, Blazing Saddles and Young Frankenstein.

The positives-The films mostly spoofs Star Wars, but also takes jabs at Star Trek, Aliens, Planet of the apes and even the Wizard of Oz. It has John Candy and Rick Moranis-you sold me right there. It has quite a few quotable lines. There are times when the film just really on fire winging the jokes at you at warp speed.

I think this is a good, but not great sci-fi spoof. I watch it fairly often.

It seems like everyone is in this film- we have sound effects madman Michael Winslow, Felix Silla who played Twiki and Cousin Itt, Eight is enough star and Disney veteran Dick Van Patten, one of my favorite grumps of all time Jack Riley has a small part as a TV guy, a young Brenda Strong is here, the wonderful character actor Stephen Tobolowski, don’t blink or your miss seeing Rhonda Shear in the diner plus the voices of Dom Deluise, Phil Hartman and even the always busy voice actor Rob Paulsen.

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Space spoof week-Galaxina

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1980

This space patrol ship is staffed by several dudes and one robot who looks like a female. The Captain’s last name is Butt…wahahaha that is so hilarious…wahahaha oh wait it’s not that funny at all. Geez hope this gets better. The robot is the title character and all the male crew members think she’s hot, but wish she was a real woman. The other two main crewmembers are Thor and Buzz. There are some sort of laser fights between space ships. then the police cruiser are ordered to go find the crystal the Blue Star. Somewhere around this time crew visits an alien brothel, the captain give birth to an alien, Galaxina changes her programming to give herself emotions and oh man is this movie still going on? I think there is a Uranus joke -hehehe that’s rich, that’s almost as good as Captain Butt! Then Galaxina gets the Blue Star, but she is grabbed by an intergalatic motorcycle gang and taken to their hang-out on a multi-colored planet. Oh, come on this is making Ice Pirates look funny. However this does provide a little bit of action as Thor and Buzz swoop in and rescue Galaxina. They blaze off away from the motorcycle gang or perhaps they are trying run out on this film. Then there is some more talking blah, blah, drone, drone, drone. Galaxina now loves Thor since she changed her programming and roll the credits for those that are still here and awake.

The negatives-Didn’t you read the review above? The movie spoofs Star Wars, Star Trek, Alien and others. However the problem is other than a very few mild chuckles the film just isn’t funny. It’s not even silly, but rather it’s dull and flat. That’s how it starts because it falls apart as it goes along. I’ve heard the cast and mostly Dorothy Stratten get blasted for this, but really it’s the fault of the writers. The script is so poor that even delivering it the best you could wasn’t going to make it work.

The positives- Let’s face it the only real reason this film is known is because Playboy playmate Dorothy Stratten was in it. Her death shortly after it’s release possibly made more people seek out this film years later. For her part she looks lovely (there is no nudity in this film). Despite being a spoof I actually think the ships both the exteriors and the interiors looked good for the time. I actually found myself rewinding a couple of times to check out the ship designs. I guess perhaps this film deserves some credit for being one of the first space spoofs.

Overall this a tough film to make it through and honestly this was second try and I probably only made it because I had already committed to writing it.

1980′s arcade games-Crossbow

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This is a new feature that I hope to do oh every so often. I played way too many arcade games in the 1980′s so now I am going to spew put something about some of them.

This game was made in 1983, but I am almost sure I never saw it in my local arcade until fall of 1984. It’s a side scrolling game with a slight difference that being that you protecting the adventurers who stroll along the screen like they don’t have a care in the world. So they are putting their fate in your hands to shoot villains and other items that try to kill them. So you use a Crossbow (duh), take aim at the baddies and try to help your people survive. I loved this game back in 84-85 mainly because of the then awesome graphics and frantic sound effects. I was slightly into D&D and fantasy films back then so I took to this game right away.  I am clumsy with non-joysticks anyhow, but I remember if being slightly difficult to use rather large crossbow, swivel it around and try to take out relatively small threats. I got slightly better at the game, but never really good. I know home versions were later made for several different Atari systems, but I never played any of them. I have not played this one since 1985 but I still like what I see on the screen captures of it, but I am not sure if it would be as fun to play or not.

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Star Trek-The Man Trap

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1966

So Kirk, McCoy and a lower ranking crewman beam down to a planet, go who isn’t going to make it? They landing party was supposed to check on scientist and overall grumpy guy Dr. Crater and his wife Nancy ( a friend of McCoy) to see if they needed more supplies. Turns out each member of the landing party was seeing Nancy as a different woman. The third crewman Darnell gets killed and has weird markings on his face like someone put a bunch of hot pennies on him. McCoy can’t find a cause of death at first although Nancy insists he ate a poison berry. Yeah, right, shape shifting liar. Turns out all the salt was sucked out of Darnell. Other crew members go down to the planet and this time Nancy/creature kills a crew member named Green and takes his identity. What’s worse is this fake Green beams up to the planet-oh no I see trouble a brewing on the Enterprise. So the creature spooks Yeoman Rand and Sulu (who deals with a gloved hand posing as an alien pant) and tries to get Uhura before settling for a silver suit clad extra. Meanwhile Kirk and Spock try to figure out what the heck is going on. They beam down to the planet and find Green’s body. Combined with the fact that they only locate one other person on the planet and they hear Dr. crabapple  Crater – Kirk and Spock suspect Nancy is not who she appears to be. They have a brief phaser battle with Crater and then capture him. He tells them that it is an alien shape shifter who-

A)killed his wife

B)is the last of it’s kind

C)sucks salt from people

D)puts up with his attitude

They take him back to the ship. Meanwhile Nancy take McCoy’s form while he sleeps. Kirk and Spock try to get Crater to tell them what form the salt vampire has taken. He refuses so the fake McCoy and Spock go to give him something to make him cooperate. The fake McCoy attacks Spock but can’t kill him because of his doggone non-salt containing green Vulcan blood, but it does kill Crater. The creature changes back into Nancy and goes to McCoy for protection. Kirk is hot on her heals, but McCoy isn’t yet convinced and Kirk almost gets killed. Spock shows up and gets knocked around by the slat vampire. McCoy eventually realizes what is going on and they kill the vampire – buzzzzzz-pow-boom. The creature dies so roll the credits and ahead warp factor three.

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The negatives-Much more an action episode then a deep sci-fi plot heavy episode of Trek. Being the first episode shown the characters were not yet as established as they would become as Spock and Kirk are not yet close and Sulu is shown working with plants.

The positives-The episode flows along well. We see something abut McCoy’s past. Kirk and Spock show how they work out and approach problems. The guest characters play their parts well. The planet set is fairly well done considering the lack of budget we know they had.

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Upcoming junk and stuff

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So after two sloppy and hurried reviews I am almost caught up on space vampire week. Star Trek’s Mantrap will be up on Friday to wrap up the week. Next week will be space spoof week with reviews of Galaxina, Spaceballs and Galaxy Quest.

I am thinking about bringing back Robin’s Holy words, Dr. Smith’s Insult of the week and the once short lived Saturday Morning Flashback. Let me know if you think I should bring these features back or just let them lay there.

Have a great week!

Planet of the vampires

 

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Oh, yes we are the height of space age fashion.

1965

So these poorly dubbed people  strangely land on this planet after losing contact with another ship. They try to kill each other and then snap out of it. They are on this foggy planet yet they still spot the missing ship. So they add motorcycle helmets onto their leather suit, grab some big caulk guns and head off to the other craft. There they find dead people and everyone seems to have killed everyone else. So they wrap the bodies in plastic and bury them under metal doors in shallow graves-weird. There some more poorly dubbed yammering and woman showing off poofy wigs. Dead crew members rise up and scare the living-awhoooooo. The captain and Sonya (the redhead) are special as they put on orange leather suits and explore an ancient ship. There they find big skeletons and something that seems to work like a really painful joybuzzer. Meanwhile two dead guys trying not to act like dead guys full the living crewmembers into thinking they are alive and board their ship. They steal this vital part from the ship and leave, but are found out and it’s revealed they are actually ancient aliens who caused these humanoids to kill each other and then took over the bodies-ew take that. The Captain and Sonya go after the stolen part, more living people die and there is  battle out on the foggy planet. The Captain and Sonya return with the part and install it. They and Wess are the only ones left so they take off. All is wonderful and the good have triumphed over evil. Take that, you good for nothing…wait, what’s that? You say the Captain and Sonja were actually killed getting the part? And they are really controlled by ancient aliens too? Oh man poor Wess is in for it now. So hoping to stop the aliens he disable the device that turns away meteors from the ship-only he has to kill himself to do it -aieeeeee I am dead for real. The aliens/captain and Sonya say oh well now we’ll have to land on the nearest planet which happens to be earth! Oh, yowzers, the surprise, the twist, eh roll the credits.

The negatives-Despite the title the creatures here are more like zombies than vampires. The plot kind of goes somewhere, but it’s also a bit messy at times.

The positives-I like the outfits a lot, not practical perhaps, but they look cool. The ship and the planet are very cool, much like a 30′s or 40′s pulp cover come to life. While the story isn’t fantastic, the suspense and the feelings of being trapped on a planet with a real threat help make this film worth watching. Definitely worth checking out.

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And they say that the Grinch’s heart grew three times that day-ew don’t show us!

 

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Hey look Gilligan is still stuck on that island.