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TREKKIES

I believe William Shatner once appear in a SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE skit in which he told ardent STAR TREK fans to "get a life!" Obviously, there are a whole lot of people out there that either never saw the skit, or just didn’t pay heed to Shatner’s comical demands. Of course, this brings us to the documentary film TREKKIES ($30); which takes a sometimes unintentionally hilarious look at those who didn’t bother to "get a life," but instead made STAR TREK the focus of their entire existence. Now I’m the first to admit that I’m a STAR TREK fan. Heck, I grew up watching reruns of classic TREK, went to see all the movies in theaters, bought the videos, watched all the subsequent television series and even read a large number of the novels on the commute to work. However, my personal enjoyment of all things STAR TREK never once threatened to overtake my life, and with all things considered, actually consumed very little of my spare time. DVD, on the other hand… Never mind.

TREKKIES isn’t really about the die-hard fanatics, although they are featured quite prominently. Instead, the documentary takes an affectionate look at the how STAR TREK cultural phenomenon has affected not only the fans, but the stars of the show as well. STAR TREK followers come from all walks of life, with its diverse fan base including men, women and children of all races and educational backgrounds. You can even find astronauts and some of the world’s most brilliant scientists amongst the teeming masses of STAR TREK devotees. Denise Crosby, who played Tasha Yar on the first season of STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION, hosts the documentary and also serves as the film’s co-executive producer. During the course of the documentary, the viewer gets a real taste of the STAR TREK experience, since much of TREKKIES was filmed at the biggest fan gatherings in the world- namely STAR TREK conventions. In addition to the legions of fans, TREKKIES also features interviews with TREK personalities like Leonard Nimoy, James Doohan, DeForest Kelley, Nichelle Nichols, Walter Koenig, Jonathan Frakes, Brent Spiner, Kate Mulgrew George Takei, Majel Barrett, Michael Dorn, Wil Wheaton, Grace Lee Whitney, LeVar Burton, Ethan Phillips and John De Lancie.

Paramount Home Entertainment has done a respectable job with the DVD edition of TREKKIES. The film is presented full frame and appears to have been composed for the 1.33:1 aspect ratio (I would image the filmmakers anticipated that the majority of screenings would take place on television). The image is solid, but it does have that 16mm documentary look. There is plenty of film noticeable grain since much of it was shot on the fly without ideal lighting sources. Colors tend to offer relatively natural saturation, however some hues are rendered a bit more vividly than others. Additionally, flesh tones vary between natural and somewhat pale. Blacks aren’t always perfect, but the contrast always appears correct, giving the documentary a very watchable quality. Digital compression artifacts did not seem to call attention to themselves.

The two-channel Dolby Digital soundtrack is supposedly in surround, however I really couldn’t detect any evidence of it. Dialogue reproduction is very good with all the words coming out of interviewees’ mouths being fully intelligible (although not always comprehensible). English subtitles are encoded onto the DVD.

The interactive menus are basic, providing access to the standard scene selection and set up features, as well as a theatrical trailer.

If you own everything else TREK on DVD, then you will definitely want a copy of TREKKIES.

 

 
TREKKIES 



 

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DVD reviews are Copyright © 2000 THE CINEMA LASER and may not be copied or reprinted without the written consent of the publisher.
THE CINEMA LASER is written, edited and published by Derek M. Germano.


 

 

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