Thursday, November 14, 2013

Ask Me A Question: Galaxy Quest

After a pretty rough last week which saw me missing out on the Thor/Avengers/Thor II triple feature, I rebounded last night by attending part of the 50th Anniversary of the Cinerama Dome at the Arclight with a totally inspired selection, Galaxy Quest, with star Tim Allen and director Dean Parisot.  I hadn't seen the flick from 1999 for quite some time but remembered it fondly and have a buddy who is a big fan.  Of course, I'm a lifelong Tim Allen fan because he tells it like it is and doesn't worry about all that Nancy Boy, PC shit the rest of you seem to occupy yourselves with.  They screened a 35 mm print which was great but with it's faded colors and scratches, kind of made you pine for a cleaned up, digital copy. 

Galaxy Quest is basically a meta-fantasy version of Star Trek; the cast of a cult sci-fi show that's long been off the air makes their living doing appearances at conventions and soaking up fandom.  Aliens fighting a ruthless mutant marauder view the show as historical documents and enlist the has been crew to live out the show's adventures for real.  What makes the film hold up, besides Stan Winston's awesome make up and effects, is the cast.  Wow.  Tim Allen, Sigourney Weaver, Alan Rickman and Daryl Mitchell are superb while Tony Shalhoub, Sam Rockwell and fresh faced Justin Long steal just about every scene they're in.  It's also a pretty layered movie about fame, family, fans and the fantasy of a higher calling.

Tim Allen and director Dean Parisot were great and basically ran the Q&A without any prodding.

- Big movie from DreamWorks, Steven Spielberg was involved who loved the film.
- In the beginning, there was a different director and direction, more like Spaceballs.
- Jeffrey Katzenberg wanted Allen to star and took him to an awkward breakfast with production staff where he was introduced as the lead to much resistance.  Those who did not agree were not working on the movie the next day.
- Katzenberg is a man who says what he means and means what he says.
- Allen is friends with Bill Shatner now because of the movie.  Didn't try to impersonate Shatner but did channel Yul Brynner from The Ten Commandments when sitting in the Command chair.
- Allen gave Alan Rickman a hard time since he was a trained actor and Allen was a comedian.  Whereas Rickman would do actor warm ups, Allen would do dick and fart jokes for 20 minutes.  After a month Rickman realized it was the same result just a different process.
- Parisot and Allen loved Winston's effects except for the pig alien.
- Allen was impressed Weaver signed on so soon after Alien 3.
- Weaver loved wearing the blonde wig and would leave set with it to go to parties. 
- Originally a 150 page script, whittled down to focus on the family of actors.
- Tony Shalhoub carried a bag of snacks around with him on set, Allen compares it to Brad Pitt and Robert DeNiro who are always eating in films as it gets the actor out of their mindset.
- Shalhoub based his performance on David Carradine in Kung-Fu.
- DreamWorks mishandled the marketing, aiming it only at kids which was a mistake they later admitted.  Caused the removal of Weaver's biggest laugh when "Fuck this!" became "Screw this!".
- Allen doesn't like the name Twitter or Tweet.
- Is included on a list of top ten of most successful Star Trek movies.
- Allen had sausage on the brain; used it to reference breakfast and as a metaphor for the movie business and something else...
- Original trailer was voice over, showed off the serious, sci-fi aspect then Allen as a loser hero but canned in favor of selling Justin Long to kid audience.
- Sequel written but for whatever reason, legal, etc never moved forward.

It was a fun night and made me want to watch some Star Trek but let's be honest, I'm not gonna sit down for that long...

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