Never Surrender – A Galaxy Quest Retrospective

galaxy quest documentary never surrender
Never give up. Never surrender.

I just smiled my ass off for 95 minutes. And you will too, if you’ve loved Galaxy Quest since it premiered in 1999. I’ve been telling everyone in earshot for decades that Galaxy Quest is one of the best “Star Trek” movies ever made. It was kind of fun to hear this exact sentiment expressed in Never Surrender: A Galaxy Quest Documentary, which played for one night at my AMC theater, to a packed and happy room.

If you’re a fan of The Orville and you haven’t seen Galaxy Quest, that’s a legit sin. On the other hand, if you decide to watch it now, you’re in for a special treat. In fact, I’d bet good money Seth McFarlane is a GQ fan. He’s managed to walk the narrative line between Galaxy Quest comedy and epic cannon Trek for two beloved Orville seasons already, with a third on the way.

As I said, the theater room for Never Surrender was packed with fans for the one-night engagement. People cheered, clapped, laughed, and shouted out popular lines from GQ. In fact, we clapped like Thermians. And if you remember what a Thermian is, you just might be a geek. 🙂

Nice touches in Never Surrender

Wil Wheaton (Wesley Crusher) and Brent Spiner (Data) are interviewed and showed a lot of enthusiasm for Galaxy Quest. That’s a bit of awesome. I hope you aren’t wondering who Wesley and Data are: I’m certainly not going to tell you. If you appreciated Galaxy Quest, you’re probably familiar with Star Trek: The Next Generation. (Ooops, I just gave it away.) Spiner even reported that Patrick [Stewart] said, “I love this film.”

BTW, Spiner does a pretty good Captain Picard impression.

It was also lovely (and sad) to see Alan Rickman behind the scenes. Apparently he was a lot of fun to work with. And since I had just watched A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood right before Never Surrender, I got to watch Enrico Colantoni in two movies in one day. I do like his work.

In another coincidence, the night before I watched an episode of Hercules: The Legendary Journeys, where Herc is in a  labyrinth full of elaborate and deadly traps (season 2 episode 3: What’s In A Name). One scene is INCREDIBLY reminiscent of the “Who builds these things?” scene in Galaxy Quest, where the heroes have to pass a chamber full of gigantic metal posts bashing together. Again, if you’re a fan, you know this scene. I enjoyed seeing Hercules making a blatant homage.

And seriously, good point. Someone should make a list of all the vast, unexplained abysses in Star Wars movies, and weird dangerous chambers full of deadly grinding gears — one even made it into Guardians of the Galaxy, which the documentary revealed was partly inspired by Galaxy Quest.

How Galaxy Quest could have been

One thing I never knew: GQ was originally written as an R rated film. They had to remove some scenes and redub some lines to get it down the PG rating the studio wanted. In fact, in the aforementioned “Who builds these?” scene, Sigourney Weaver’s character said “F*ck this”….which was dubbed as “Screw this,” but you can see that her mouth is actually forming the original line. It’s funny either way.

Did you know genre favorite Harold Ramis was originally slated to direct Galaxy Quest? I’d have loved to see his version, but can’t complain with what we got.

It was also interesting to hear the extensive laundry list of A-level actors who turned down the captain’s role, eventually landed by Tim Allen. He was never anyone’s first choice apparently, but Allen did a wonderful near-Shatner portrayal.

The whole cast really clicked, and instead of being a cheap spoof movie, GQ became a real science fiction film with only gentle parody that offended exactly no one. It takes the storytelling a step above and beyond Mel Brooks’ silly Star Wars spoof Spaceballs. (Which I also enjoy, on a different level.)

I don’t think anyone dislikes Galaxy Quest. When Never Surrender: A Galaxy Quest Documentary comes out on streaming platforms, give it a watch…and by Grabthar’s Hammer, you shall be avenged!

Don’t deny it. You know you choked up during this scene:

Documentary Grade: A-

Star Trek Characters We Will Probably See Again

Sir Patrick Stewart Back as the Beloved Jean-Luc Picard in New Star Trek

Star Trek 4 Movie News Updates

 

 

Preview Movie Review – Bad CGI Sharks

bad cgi sharks
The lead shark looks better than anything in Jaws 2, actually.

RunPee was fortunate enough to secure a screener movie to review during our infamous, annual Shark Binge (which consists of just me, but I do this every year in the summer until even I get sharked out.)

Bad CGI Sharks is a strange beast (pun incidental). In spite of the “bad” name, the production values are solid, the on-location settings work, and the acting is frequently amusing. Even “Diane” — the main shark (when she’s not blitzing out in the computer lab) — looks pretty good, as she serenely swims through the air in the city. Diane’s CGI was far, far above the likes of Jaws 2, which I’m fairly sure had a bigger budget.

It’s Shark Diane’s cracked-out hench-sharks that lends the title its name. These sharks are cartoon-ish, meant as comic relief. I don’t understand their point, though, since they aren’t either funny or remotely menacing. I must have  missed something, so I passed this screener on to RunPee Sis — who’s RunPee’s resident Scream Queen — for her expert opinion.

Plot

What plot?

Okay, I’ll try again. Um. Sharks swim through the air in a city and attack people in their bedrooms. Often in their underwear. That’s all fun.

What I didn’t get is why the climax had to be on the beach. Granted, not even the main guys knew why they HAD to hit the beach, so I guess that’s just baked into the plot. Sharks have to be on beaches, right? Maybe the sharks themselves felt they needed to return to the sea in some obscure way, even though they knew they were digital.

Oh, and right. Yes, they knew they weren’t real. They were self-aware AI CGI sharks, created by the characters for the screenplay “SHARKS OUTTA WATER” the (twin?) boys were writing.

And their creations came alive.

A freaky deaky Frankenstein’s shark allegory is what we have here.

I wish it was just funnier. The trailer is GREAT, but it contains all the jokes that work. I hate when that happens. The trailer is hysterical, but better than the movie.

If you do nothing else here, watch this ingenuously funny 2 minute trailer: 

Character Development

There are the two brothers Jason and Mathew (using their actors’ own names) who are as different as can be, but get along sometimes: long enough to infrequently collaborate on their shark movie. And then get together long enough to realize their screenplay sharks ARE OUT THERE, eating people.

Still with me?

My favorite character was the computer tech, from whom Shark Diane demanded all kinds of weird upgrades. Said tech doesn’t have much to do, but when she starts corpsing (losing character) on the phone to the boys, I crack the hell up.

I mean, her character was supposed to be rattled and scared — the mean old air shark is right there in her office, ready to eat her — but it’s fine if the actress just lost it anyway, and that bit was left in in the script for fun.

It’s the best moment. Her lines are too ridiculous to not start a sort of crazed gurgling: “The digital shark has become self aware! How come the shark is aware?” <—–something like that. I giggled too. That was pretty fresh.

bad cgi sharks title sharks outta water
The Meta-film within the film is contained in this highly technical notebook.

Oh, and then there’s the ‘narrator’, played by Matteo Molinari as Bernardo. Or was he a kind of lunatic Greek Chorus? Meta-wise, he could have been the Script Editor. Whatever Bernardo was, his over the top antics were intentionally weirder than weird, and ironically made the film work better than expected.

Bernardo also gives us an entertaining Intermission segment, but don’t use that as a Peetime. It’s ludicrous, but in the good way. Me likee.

Bad CGI Sharks, Overall

I can’t decide whether Bad CGI Sharks fulfills its niche. Or what the niche really is. Is this comedy, horror, or film camp? I’m going with the latter — a straight up camp parody. And until I hear from RunPee Sis to back this up or not, I’m going to stick with “Intentionally Terrible”. On that basis, let’s say this is a proper C film, with a + tacked on for some great moments of wacky goodness.

Probably best seen stoned. Or if you appreciate amazingly awful flicks as an art form in itself.

Movie Grade: C+ 

Movie Review – 47 Meters Down: Uncaged

Movie Rewatch – Jaws – Still A Fantastic Blockbuster

First View Movie Review – Jaws 2

Movie Review – The Meg

Zero Song – Video & Lyrics from Ralph Breaks the Internet

ralph breaks the internet and princess venelope
Wreck-It Ralph himself – proof one can be both zero and hero.

Ralph Breaks the Internet, the lovable sequel to Wreck-It Ralph, plays almost like a Disney princess musical, which it kind of is, as an affectionate parody Disney surprisingly put forth in a very meta manner. (Disney having a sense of humor about themselves floored me in almost every way.)

It’s pretty catchy, but not the worst earworm ever: that award has to go to the aptly-named Catchy Song from The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part.

Here’s the charming 8-bit end credit video and movie lyrics from Zero, by Imagine Dragons:


Zero

(Sung by Imagine Dragons)

I find it hard to say the things I want to say the most
Find a little bit of steady as I get close
Find a balance in the middle of the chaos
Send me low, send me high, send me never demigod
I remember walking in the cold of November
Hoping that I make it to the end of December
27 years and the end of my mind
But holding to the thought of another time
But looking to the ways at the ones before me
Looking for the path of the young and lonely
I don’t want to hear about what to do
I don’t want to do it just to do it for you

Hello, hello
Let me tell you what it’s like to be a zero, zero
Let me show you what it’s like to always feel, feel
Like I’m empty and there’s nothing really real, real
I’m looking for a way out
Hello, hello
Let me tell you what it’s like to be a zero, zero
Let me show you what it’s like to never feel, feel
Like I’m good enough for anything that’s real, real
I’m looking for a way out

I find it hard to tell you how I want to run away
I understand it always makes you feel a certain way
I find a balance in the middle of the chaos
Send me up, send me down, send me never demigod
I remember walkin’ in the heat of the summer
Wide-eyed one with a mind full of wonder
27 years and I’ve nothing to show
Falling from the doves to the dark of the crow
Looking to the ways of the ones before me
Looking for the path of the young and lonely
I don’t want to hear about what to do, no
I don’t want to do it just to do it for you

Hello, hello
Let me tell you what it’s like to be a zero, zero
Let me show you what it’s like to always feel, feel
Like I’m empty and there’s nothing really real, real
I’m looking for a way out
Hello, hello
Let me tell you what it’s like to be a zero, zero
Let me show you what it’s like to never feel, feel
Like I’m good enough for anything that’s real, real
I’m looking for a way out

Let me tell you ’bout it, well let me tell you ’bout it
Maybe you’re the same as me
Let me tell you ’bout it, well let me tell you ’bout it
They say the truth will set you free

Hello, hello
Let me tell you what it’s like to be a zero, zero
Let me show you what it’s like to always feel, feel
Like I’m empty and there’s nothing really real, real
I’m looking for a way out
Hello, hello
Let me tell you what it’s like to be a zero, zero
Let me show you what it’s like to never feel, feel
Like I’m good enough for anything that’s real, real
I’m looking for a way out

(Songwriters: Benjamin Arthur McKee / Daniel Coulter Reynolds / Daniel James Platzman / Daniel Wayne Sermon / John Hill Zero lyrics 2018 © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Universal Music Publishing Group, Walt Disney Music Company)


By the way, Ralph Breaks the Internet is up for an Oscar for Best Animated Picture for the 2019 Oscars. It’s a very enjoyable romp, even if you never saw the original movie. Also up for consideration: The Incredibles 2, Isle of Dogs, Mirai, and Into The Spider-Verse. My money is on Spider-Verse, because it is that awesome, but each one of these are absolutely worthy.

Related RunPee posts, for your consideration: 

Movie Review – Ralph Breaks the Internet

Movie Review – Wreck-It Ralph

RunPee and the 2019 Oscars – Predictions for the 2018 Movie Awards

Movie Review – Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

Lego Movie 2 Holiday Short – Christmas is Awesome

LEGO2 - Benny
Space helmets make great Christmas decorations when you’re a vintage Lego.

I somehow missed this little video treat over the holidays, and maybe you did too. On the eve of The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part, it’s worth taking a peek at this short Christmas one-off taking place in the apocalyptic ruins of Bricksburg and the Lego Movie crew (including Chris Pratt, Elizabeth Banks, and Will Arnett), as Space Duplos enter the stage to ruin everything. If this sounds confusing, just watch The Lego Movie again (at least the last few minutes). That will get you up to snuff.

Here is the fun little short, starring all the regulars from the original Lego Movie, adding some Unikitty rainbow barf, Lego Batman eggnog, a different version of Everything is Awesome, and all kinds of wacky:

Are the Four Lego Movies Sequels, Prequels, or Stand-Alone Films?

Chris Pratt and the Lego Cast go to Space Camp

Everything is Awesome – Video and Lyrics to The Lego Movie Theme Song

Movie Review – The LEGO Batman Movie – One of the BEST Batman films, ever

Quiz – The Lego Ninjago Movie – Fun kid action in the shared Lego movie universe

Let’s have some fun with this Lego Ninjago quiz: I’ll give you a quote, and you give me the character. Good Luck! [quiz-cat id=”15022″]

If you enjoyed this quotes quiz, take a look at my other Lego movie quizzesThanks for stopping by – Ginger/RunPee Mom

Quiz – The Lego Movie – This film is ‘Awesome”

Quiz – The Lego Batman Movie – Think You Know Your Lego Superhero Quotes?

The Cast of Voices for The Lego Movie 2 – The Second Part

Movie Review – The LEGO Ninjago Movie (the least exciting Lego film for adults)

Movie Review – The LEGO Movie

Movie Review – The LEGO Batman Movie – One of the BEST Batman films, ever

Everything is Awesome – Video and Lyrics to The Lego Movie Theme Song

Quiz – The Lego Batman Movie – Think You Know Your Lego Superhero Quotes?

The only thing more fun than playing with Batman Legos is taking a quiz on The Lego Batman Movie. I’ll give you a Batman Lego film quote, and you supply the correct character who said it. Now with Batman starring in a 3rd Lego movie (the Second Part), he’s kind of a big deal. 😉 Good luck and, as always, have fun. [quiz-cat id=”15026″]

Thanks so much for stopping for stopping by.  Maybe you could check out my other quizzes on the stars and their movies. And if you come across one you really like, think about sharing it with another fan of the Lego movies.

Movie Review – The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part

Movie Review – The LEGO Batman Movie – One of the BEST Batman films, ever

Chris Pratt and the Lego Cast go to Space Camp

The Cast of Voices for The Lego Movie 2 – The Second Part

Iconic Cars From Movies – Walmart Crafts A Winning Superbowl Commercial

Bumblebee is back
Technically, not a car.

It’s crazy, but the Superbowl commercial of the day goes to….Walmart. Walmart! I know! Whodathunk?

I need to make some screen captures, but you can do for now with the below video of the all-out effort made to include beloved, iconic, and a few harder-to-spot cool cars from many movies and TV shows, over many decades of time.

The Plot: These movie cars are sent out to pick up groceries from Walmart, and plays out like a little movie. What did we just see, in which order? 

  • The Batmobile from Batman  (One incarnation of it. Heh, get it? In-CAR-nation?)
  • Ecto-1 from Ghostbusters (And Slimer)
  • KITT, from Knight Rider, which would be my first choice to get my stuff, since I wouldn’t have to even go to Walmart at all. I could just send KITT there and stay home (And I checked…the voice is indeed really KITT’s, as William Daniels reprises his original role!)
  • Lightning McQueen from Pixar’s Cars
  • Mutt Cutts “Shaggin’ Wagon” from Dumb and Dumber
  • The Truckster station wagon from the Griswold Family in National Lampoon’s Vacation
  • The Mystery Machine from Scooby-Doo
  • The Jurassic Park Tour Vehicle, complete with a hungry pack of Compies (We’re back in the car…again!)
  • Cinderella’s Pumpkin Coach, with Cinderella herself (Awwwww)
  • The Flintstones Car
  • We also see Bumblebee from the Transformers franchise. Well, why not? We’ll call him a part-time car. Maybe I’ll send him for my groceries
  • And finally, The DeLorean from Back to the Future

I’ve seen a few of these cars in “real life” — made by real people who went out of their way to redesign some wacky classics. To wit: the Ecto-1 in Yuma, AZ, the Mystery Machine in Asheville, NC, and the Delorean in San Diego, CA (that last one was at Comic Con, in the streets of downtown).

But seriously, this nostalgic commercial gets all the loves this year, plus it plays out over Gary Numan’s 1979 hit “Cars”:

The commercial sells the idea that you just show up in your car, and a Walmart Associate will bring out your groceries…which I am totally down with, since I don’t like shopping in person. So it’s a whole lot of brilliant, and whoever pulled this all together (getting all the rights alone must have been a nightmare) deserves their car of choice.

I’m still deciding which one I want. 🙂

Is Bumblebee a prequel or a reboot?

Guardians of the Galaxy Song – Guardians Inferno Video and Lyrics

I think this is our long-awaited Dance Off.

The Guardians of the Galaxy, Vols 1 and 2, are already beloved movie icons, both inside and outside the geek crowd. As a big part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, their reach extends from Disney theme parks, with the hugely popular Guardian’s Breakout ride, to this little gem of a disco parody song called The Guardians Inferno.

It’s a catchy tune, and watching the video is great fun. Almost every character (plus erstwhile  director James Gunn) are featured in shiny, tight, glittery, and frankly outlandish outfits that wouldn’t stick out on the dance floor in the 80s.  Mutton chops and afros make an appearance too. If you’ve seen the movies, you’ll understand why David Hasselhoff (AKA Zardu Hasslefrou) sings this song — and if you know anything about Marvel comics, you’ll adore the Stan Lee cameo at the end.

Try to see if you can spot these characters from the films:

  • Gamora
  • Kraglin/Rocket
  • Drax
  • Nebula
  • Mantis
  • Star Lord
  • (And also director James Gunn)

Lyrics are below. And by the way, a “procyon lotor” is a raccoon. But you probably guessed that. 🙂

Here are the lyrics to this hugely amusing bonus treat:

Guardians Inferno

(Song byThe Sneepers, 2017)

Getting down and dirty with a procyon lotor
Got no people skills but he’s good with motors

That weird thing by his side’s an infantilized sequoia
The two of them walk by, people say “oh boy-a”

They ask me why I’m bringin’
A baby into battle
That’s really irresponsible
And getting them rattled

I say “give me a break
Get off of my back damn, it”
I didn’t learn parenting
My daddy was a planet

Zardu Hasselfrau, Zardu Hasselfrau, hey
Zardu Hasselfrau, Zardu Hasselfrau, hey

In these times of hardship
Just remember…

We
Are
Groot.

(Songwriters: James Gunn / Tyler Bates. Guardians Inferno lyrics © Walt Disney Music Company)

Undercover Boss – A Star Wars Parody on SNL

Matt, the Radar Tech. Any resemblance to Kylo Ren is absolutely intentional.

Saturday Night Live has a lot of misses in these latter years of heyday’s past, but when they hit a home run, there’s still good to be found. One of my favorite SNL sketches has Adam Driver reprising his Star Wars role of Kylo Ren, the commander of Starkiller Base (from Star Wars: The Force Awakens), going undercover with the impressive title of  Matt, the technician.

Undercover Boss: Starkiller Base takes only a few moments to watch, but it’s got some great laughs. Driver really pokes fun at tantrum throwing force user Ben Solo/Kylo Ren.

I never get tired of Star Wars parodies, and usually their production values and humor are high on the watchable scale. It’s amusing to see Kylo Ren taking abuse from no-nonsense tech superiors (“I need my muffin, MATT!”), and trying to bond with the officers in the mess hall (“I’m sorry I killed your son”). Did he succeed in fooling anyone? Did he learn anything at all?

In a word, no. But Driver is a great sport, and gleefully throws the less attractive qualities of Ren into the part. Ren’s clearly got some self-esteem issues yet to work out. I’m going to say this sketch is now part of my head-canon.

You like it? What do you think of the character of Kylo Ren? Big Bad? Or Big Baby?


More, on RunPee.com:

TROOPS – A Star Wars Parody Does COPS

LOTR: Fan Film Short of The Hobbit – An Unexpected Parody

Who the hell are you? Gandalf, what’s with these Dwarves?

I think Peter Jackson should have opened The Hobbit with this fan-film feature. It’s that cute. Even if you don’t like drinking shots, you’ll find this short amusing. I can see this (in my personal head cannon) as what actually happened that fateful night at Bag End, and why Bilbo joined the Dwarves’ expedition to The Lonely Mountain.

This musical one-off (to the tune of Shots, by Lil Jon) has good production values — I’m impressed. Some of the Dwarves look just like their movie counterparts, and leads me to wonder if some reprised their roles for this.

Alert: If you don’t like scenes of people drinking and getting wasted, this might not be the video for you. It depicts an alternate version of the Unexpected Party chapter in The Hobbit.

My Opinion: Jackson did an amazing body of work in the Lord of the Rings. We can’t deny that. But for various reasons, he made The Hobbit — one slim novel — into a full feature trilogy. It didn’t turn out well. The Hobbit’s best scenes are with Gollum, Smaug, and Gandalf. And, of course, his scenes with the Dwarves at home in Bag End. The Hobbit leads directly into The Lord of the Rings, showing us how the epic all began.

That’s kind of why I enjoy this spoof of the “unexpected party “at Bag End. I totally buy that it went this way, and NOT what was recorded Bilbo’s Red Book (his memoirs). After all, history has always been written/interpreted by the winners, who were not necessarily sober at the time.

Altogether, this is really cute if you’re a Middle Earth fan. Otherwise, skip it. I’d give An Unexpected Parody an A grade myself,  from the perspective of a life-long Tolkienphile.