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Galaxy Quest

Galaxy Quest
A DreamWorks Home Entertainment Release
1999, 102 Minutes, Color, Rated PG

Starring:  Tim Allen, Sigourney Weaver, Alan Rickman, Tony Shalhoub, Sam Rockwell, Daryl Mitchell, Enrico Colantoni, Robin Sachs, Patrick Breen
List Price:  $26.99 USD, released 05/02/00
Packaging:  Keepcase, Region 1 NTSC
Disc Format:  Single Sided, Dual Layered (DVD-9)
Aspect Ratio:  2.35:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Audio Formats:  English 5.1, English 2.0 Surround
Subtitles:  English
Closed Captioning:  English
Features:  Deleted Scenes, Featurette, Theatrical Trailers, Biographies & Filmographies, Production Notes, Scene Selection, Interactive Menus.

Galaxy Quest places the has-been actors of a late 1970’s, sci-fi TV series, Galaxy Quest, in the roll of a lifetime. Now delegated to making lowly appearances at conventions and store openings, Jason Nesmith – the former Commander Peter Quincy Taggart – takes what he believes is nothing more than a regular gig, albeit from a strange group of people. But unwittingly, he starts an all-out war between the peace-loving but naive Thermians and their arch enemies – and doesn’t discover where he’s actually been until the return trip home. Back on earth, his bedraggled crewmates disbelieve his wild tale until they make the journey themselves. But what can a group of television actors – and poor ones at that – do when confronted with a situation that places an entire race at risk?

DreamWorks’ discs are always known to be of good quality and Galaxy Quest delivers. Its big-budget 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer contains impeccable detail and rich, satisfying color, without being oversaturated. Film grain is minimal, although I noticed a fair amount of low-level noise in the transfer. For the most part black levels are well calibrated, but there are a few scenes where it appears somewhat off. The movie is divided into 20 unique chapters and is stored on a dual-layered disc with a nicely hidden layer change occurring at 55:17 into the film, at the beginning of chapter 12. The entire disc contains 7.4 gigabytes of data. English subtitles and Closed Captioning data are provided.

In the audio department, it’s hard to judge whether Galaxy Quest should be billed as comedy or science fiction. As a comedy, the Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack (which must be manually selected) delivers with solid dialogue, clean effects and adequate use of the rear channels. Music is clear with plenty of range. However, as a science fiction action movie, Galaxy Quest isn’t up to its peers. Overall, rear channels are underused even during special effects sequences, and I would have hoped to see the subwoofer track more active. But as a whole, the soundtrack holds its own and will deliver a satisfying experience. Also available on the disc is a standard Dolby ProLogic 2.0 soundtrack.

Galaxy Quest may only be a "regular" disc by DreamWorks’ standards, but the complement of special features actually qualify it as a special edition by the measuring criteria at some other studios. First, there’s a 10 minute long featurette which is admittedly short on technical content. Then there are seven deleted scenes, which can be played as a continuous reel. Some of these are quite interesting and do actually fill in several minor plot holes. Continuing, there’s the original theatrical trailer in 2.35:1 anamorphic video and 5.1 audio, plus three sneak preview trailers for Chicken Run, The Road to El Dorado and Road Trip. You’ll also find filmographies and biographies plus text production notes. On the fantastically animated main menu you’ll even find a nifty "Omega 13" button. I don’t want to spoil the surprise, but if you hit the button before watching the movie a nice little warning comes up – "you wouldn’t want to spoil the ending, would you?". But the candidate for "most useless special feature of the year" award must go to the… eccentric Thermian 2.0 Surround audio track. I challenge you to take more than sixty seconds of this at a time!

Galaxy Quest is a fun, light-hearted movie that takes great enjoyment in taking potshots at that "other" popular sci-fi television series. With a star-studded cast containing such well-known names as Tim Allen and Sigourney Weaver, what’s not to like? Put everything on a great DVD and stamp it with a reasonable list price as DreamWorks did, and you’ve got a worthwhile purchase.

- Reviewed by Daniel Tonks on May 22, 2000.

Video Quality:
Audio Quality:
1-Poor 2-Fair 3-Good 4-Excellent
System Equipment
Sony DVP-S500D DVD Player
Sony STR-GA8ES 5.1 Receiver
Sony 32" XBR250 WEGA TV using Component
Nuance Spatial Baby Grand 3E & StarSat

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