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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John Carpenter’s Vampires

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“Now where did I put that ancient pain in the neck?”

1998

I thought going about my normal route in writing this one up, but that just didn’t seem the right way to go about this. Some movies I enjoy sorting out the plot and for this one the whole time I watched it I struggled with numerous parts as I always have with this film. That’s not to say they don’t do some things right so let me just lay out basic points and then I’ll try to wrap it together.

Five things they did right
1-western setting-both in how it looks and how it feels
2-the opening action scene-not flawless, but way to go after it
3-the weapons-a good mix of traditional ideas with modern technology
4-the whole hierarchy of the vampires-having goons and masters and such
5-Jack’s past story that helps explain why he’s in the line of work he’s in

Five things that don’t work so well
1-the slayers because less likable the more they open their mouths
2-the vampires either look bums or models
3-the best action is early on, after that it’s either nothing, crap or rehash of the earlier parts.
4-the vampires seem less impressive as the film goes on
5-any sense of urgency or tension just didn’t seem as strong as it needed to be

This was a film that I really wanted to like and it opens so well, but then it just weaves and bobs around with a few sparks yet all too many tedious moments. The opening 15-20 minutes had me then it’s like after that they lose my attention by not making me care. I kept hoping it would pick up as it went along but was a bit like sitting in the tub watching the bathwater just sloshing around over and over. So Vampires was kind of like soaking in dirty bathwater..well sort of. It had promise, but not enough ideas to pull it over.

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“Hey, it’s not my fault John Carpenter’s films sucked after the 80’s”