Friday, September 3, 2010

You broke the ship! You broke the bloody ship!

As you’ve probably figured out by now, I was raised with a healthy dose of science fiction television and movies in my life. I loved my summer marathons of Star Wars with buckets of popcorn and only getting up to change the VHS tape to the next movie. Wow, I just dated myself there. That’s right; I’m old enough to remember VHS tapes. Call me ancient. I watched Star Trek: The Next Generation religiously with Dad and had the required crush on Wesley Crusher. Then it was Deep Space Nine and Voyager. I didn’t get as excited about Babylon 5 but I watched enough of it. I was especially excited once I was old enough to go to the theater with Dad, Uncle Mitch and Jeff, my own personal peanut gallery for movies. I used to joke that it was like going to movies with the Mystery Science Theater 3000 crew. The first one I remember seeing with them was Starship Troopers. Not really a movie a 6th grader should have been going to. All I remember is sitting between Dad and Uncle Mitch and the two of them continuously speaking over my head, "That wasn't in the book..." with furtive looks down at me. Luckily, I emerged fairly unscathed and also became the cool girl who'd seen the movie in class the next week.

So, I’ve also always enjoyed the parodies the genre has inspired. Spaceballs being the notable one I remember from when I was a kid. I was introduced to Mel Brooks probably too young too but I loved all his movies. Not that I got all the jokes in Spaceballs the first time I watched it. After all, Rick Moranis to me was the guy who shrunk his kids. I appreciate it a lot more now that I’m older. I remember the first time I got the gag of the dancing alien. It was like I was finally old enough to be initiated into the cool kids' club. But, Galaxy Quest is the film I remember being old enough when it came out to really enjoy during the first viewing. The movie is ridiculous and yet highly enjoyable. A group of TV actors from a space program are taken to an actual spaceship where aliens believe the TV shows they’ve been watching are “historical documents.” You know only hilarity will ensue.

It has some great one-liners (including the title of this post) that I will pull out from time to time as needed. They never fail to crack me up. For a while, this was a go-to movie for me in the summer. It just fits the breezy, no responsibilities-so-I-can-watch-nonsense moods I get in the summer months when it's too hot to stir from the sofa and a pitcher of iced tea. Naturally then, when I saw this film in the $5 bin as summer was fading away last week, I had to revive the tradition I had let fall away since high school.

Color me crazy but it's not just the fun the movie provides. Because, despite the nutty premise and the fact the film is clearly poking fun at the genre inspiring it, it also creates memorable characters on the adventure of their lifetime. It is entertaining, funny and action-packed with decent special effects and a "plausible" storyline. Kind of like what all those shows that inspired them did at their best. To my mind, that makes it even better than a parody.

We will also mention in closing that before he was Mac or the on-again, off-again boyfriend of Drew Barrymore, and long before I fell in love with him again in Dodgeball or Accepted, Justin Long stole my 8th grade heart as the geeky fan that saves the day in this film. At least I knew how to pick ‘em young ;-)

1 comment:

Mitch said...

I didn't remember Justin Long being in this movie, but it's interesting to think of the people who were in this movie and the types of other roles they played. For instance, Sigourney Weaver and the Alien movies; Alan Rickman as Snape; Tim Allen as Santa Claus; Tony Shaloub as not only Monk, but the alien who owns the shop in the two Men in Black movies. This was a fun movie that I never had any intention of watching, and I'm glad I did.