DVD & Video File (Starburst Reviews) DVD File and VideoFile by Ian Atkins
From Starburst's monthly Reviews section
selected from Starburst #269

Selected this month:
Galaxy Quest and Chorlton on VHS, plus The Man With the Golden Gun

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Galaxy Quest
13 November • Rental • Cert PG • PAL VHS
Dreamworks Home Entertainment

Galaxy Quest on DVD - order from BlackStar today!

Order it from Black Star today!

Set Phasers
To Fun

"... the best Sci-Fi comedy ever"

Call them Trekkies, Trekkers, sad bastards, whatever, but while various SF shows have had their popular followings, only one programme has had so many people behind it that it was able to make nine feature films and three more series. We mean, of course, Star Trek, and it's about time a comedy came along to poke fun at the 35 year old phenomenon. It's a big surprise, therefore, to find that while Galaxy Quest provides one of the funniest films of the year, it's also one of the most affectionate looks ever at Star Trek, at a time when even some its past stars (ie Shatner) are famously urging the fans to 'get a life'. Conversely, these fans are shown that the life they have isn't that lacking after all.

Tim Allen plays Jason Nesmith, a Shatner-esque actor who survives through the fame of his role in early 1980s SF show 'Galaxy Quest'. Together with his disgruntled former colleagues, he's reduced to convention appearances to make ends meet, and it's at the latest of these that their lives change. For the broadcasts of 'Galaxy Quest' have reached the alien Thermian race who have no concept of fiction: so guess who they turn to when their race is being wiped out by enemy attacks? Soon the actors have been placed in a working recreation of their starship, and charged with saving the Thermians.

The humour is kept carefully within character and dialogue realms, presenting an otherwise straight Sci-Fi film with some gorgeous effects (the CGI in particular has few competitors at the moment) and a real heart. You care for these people and their situation, and laugh with rather than at. And laugh a lot, it has to be said. Be it Nesmith's Kirk-esque tendency to lose his shirt, or poor communications officer Tawny Madison (Sigourney Weaver, a revelation) having little to do except repeat computer lines, or Alex Dane's (Alan Rickman)'s despair at being trapped in a role he hates, these are recognizable - and hilarious - situations. A film which rewards multiple viewings, and the best Sci-Fi comedy ever.

Starburst rating: 10

The Man With the Golden Gun
DVD R2 • Cert PG • MGM Home Entertainment
Screen Format: 1.85:1 • Out 27 November

The Man with the Golden Gun on DVD - order from BlackStar today!

Order it from Black Star today!

One Bond, Two Killers, Three Nipples

Those who'd been waiting to see Bond matched one-on-one against a like-minded rival finally get their wish with Man With the Golden Gun, as the million dollar hitman Scaramanga (Christopher Lee) appears to have 007 in his sights. But as Bond tries to track him down first, he becomes involved in the chase for the Solex, the usual Bond film gimmick, this time obtaining power directly from sunlight (well, it was made at the height of the oil crisis).

What follows is a global runaround, taking in sumo wrestlers, boat chases, one of the best car stunts ever, two gorgeous Bond girls (Maud Adams and Britt Ekland), and that damned comedy Sheriff again (the less talked about, the better). The final act, with Bond and Scaramanga duelling, is a highlight of the 007 character, and sometimes you don't need a man sitting stroking a pussy to provide a strong enemy.

Starburst Rating: 9

The Extras

The documentary (narrated again by Patrick 'Steed' MacNee) is one of the best the series has presented so far, in using interviews with the four main stars as they recount an obviously enjoyable time spent making the film. It's worth watching this if only for the variety of almost-happened events which could have changed the face of not only the film but the Bond series itself.

There's a second documentary which looks at the work of the stuntmen involved in all the films from Dr No to TWINE, and its interviews and clips help you appreciate just how much these brave men shaped the look of the franchise. This disc's commentary is the expected compilation of inteviews and soundbites, and is typically informative. The photo gallery covers everything from character portraits to foreign posters. There are seven trailers, with three radio adverts, and two each for cinema and television.

Starburst rating: 10

Chorlton and the Ice World
6 November • Cert U • PAL VHS • PT Video

Chorlton and the Ice World - buy it from Blackstar. Or not.

Order it from Black Star today

Happiness Is A Warm Dragon

It's been a good year for 30-year-old nostalgists, what with Jamie and the Magic Torch, Button Moon, Willo The Wisp, Henry's Cat and Roobarb (and others) all receiving recent releases. This latest Chorlton and the Wheelies tape is one of the best titles to reach screens in 2000, especially with producers Cosgrove Hall's surreal approach to visuals, the clever humour and a hugely optimistic core.

Chorlton is a happiness dragon (large, orange and spotted), described as "not too clever at differential calculus or tying his own shoelaces but he is stupid" who appears to come from darkest Yorkshire with his constant "eee ecky thump" and "tha's gradely" good humour. He lives in Wheelie World, a kingdom populated by the Wheelies - who mainly look like dolls' heads with wheels bolted on - and protects them through his sheer happiness from the attentions of evil Welsh witch Fenella. Who lives in a kettle.

The tape contains three Christmas-orientated tales; Chorlton and the Ice World, Chorlton's Gift of Happiness, and Chorlton and the Snow Dragon; all harmless stuff, and the only shame is the short 52 minutes running time. An ideal X-mas present for the big kid in your life.

Starburst rating: 8

Reviews © Visual Imagination 2001. Not for reproduction