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Paramount Studios presents
Trekkies 2 (2004)

“I actually had the opportunity to photograph [myself] with the model of the Enterprise from the Star Trek films. I basically had to do everything in my power not to turn to Jell-O, because that’s... That’s kind of like when Moses saw the burning bush.”
- Gabriel Koerner

Review By: Matt Peterson  
Published: August 31, 2004

Stars: Denise Crosby
Other Stars: Ethan Phillips, Conner Trinneer, Dominic Keating, Cirroc Lofton, Nana Visitor, Barbara Adams, Gabriel Koerner
Director: Roger Nygard

MPAA Rating: PG for some language
Run Time: 01h:33m:02s
Release Date: August 31, 2004
UPC: 097360552744
Genre: documentary


Style
Grade
Substance
Grade
Image Transfer
Grade
Audio Transfer
Grade
Extras
Grade
B+ A-BB B+

DVD Review

Star Trek fans certainly get a bad rap. There is a stigma involved, causing many to be closet fans of sorts, fearing the scrutiny they may face if they profess their allegiance. That's is but one extreme. The people featured in this sequel to the original hit Trekkies, hosted by none other than Skin of Evil victim Tasha Yar, er, I mean Denise Crosby, show no such fear. If you've read my Trek reviews on this web site, you know I am a fan of the show. Somehow, I even consistently manage to write way too much about Voyager. What can I say? I grew up on the stuff, and still enjoy it today. However, next to these folks, I feel like I've never heard of Star Trek.

This is my first exposure to the Trekkies world; I have yet to see the first notorious documentary, though I have heard tales of a 24th Century-themed dentist’s office and even a loyal Trekker who showed up to jury duty in full uniform. Trek fans can be the most loyal, obsessive, committed, giving, warm hearted people in the pantheon of pop culture followings. Trek conventions will continue 50 years from now, and new incarnations of the show will be certainly air (perhaps to the franchise’s detriment). Are these people crazy? Without a life? Socially inept? Some, perhaps, but like any other group, there are ranges. Some are clearly casual fans who enjoy it as a diversion or an escape. Others spend over $20,000 to recreate the bridge of the Enterprise-D for the making of a fan film that will probably see little exposure.

Trekkies 2 aims to pay tribute to these people, going beyond the borders of the United States to scope out fandom around the world. Crosby guides us through conventions and gatherings in countries such as France, England, Germany, Brazil, Italy and even Serbia, where Trek is an emblem of freedom in a war-torn country. A few stops are made in the US, including my home state of Minnesota. There are plenty of humorous and classic moments to be had here: Meet the Trek priest who holds mass at Italy’s convention; a British man shows his apartment that has been transformed into a starship interior; Brannon Braga discusses the Crab-Obsessed Fan and his artwork; Tribute bands such as the Horta-inspired No Kill I and Warp 11 perform, showcasing hilarious lyrics (I didn’t even know these groups existed); Crosby visits with the Klingon Santa Claus of Germany and joins fans for a Trek quiche party; there are many, many more entertaining bits. All of these colorful characters are interspersed with interviews clips with various cast members, including Connor Trinneer and Dominic Keating from Enterprise.

We even get a chance to catch up with some of the featured fans from the first film, including Little Rock native Barbara Adams (the jury duty loyalist) and Gabriel Koerner, who is now happily married and has seemingly mellowed a bit, though his devotion is made clear through a set of impressive CGI sequences that open the film and grace the menus of this disc. Furthermore, there is an attempt to address some of the backlash from the first film through a sequence regarding “normal” fans—something many felt the first entry was lacking. Frankly, a piece on just “normal” fans would not be the most entertaining. The film thankfully has a respectful tone forward the fans, though it does send a message of lightheartedness: Despite the fact Star Trek is worthy of praise for a variety of reasons, it is, in the end, a television show. Some self-deprecating humor is necessary to take the edge off and to stay down to Earth about the whole phenomenon.

The sequel’s subtitle asks an important question: How much is too much? As one commentator puts it, if Star Trek causes you to lose your identity, impeding your ability to function within society at large, you’ve got a problem. But if Roddenberry’s brainchild enhances who you are as a person, helping you form a positive identity, it’s something to be embraced. There are certainly much worse things to be engrossed with. After all, Trek does offer moral lessons and values that should be spread and shared. Rest assured, these fans, who have essentially become a huge family, will continue to do so with a phaser and tricorder on each hip.

Rating for Style: B+
Rating for Substance: A-

 

Image Transfer

 One
Aspect Ratio1.33:1 - Full Frame
Original Aspect Ratioyes
Anamorphicno


Image Transfer Review: Shot on digital video, the image quality looks about as good as you’d expect. The picture has decent detail, solid colors and contrast, but is relatively soft throughout. There are no harsh digital artifacting issues to deal with. It serves the material, nothing more.

Image Transfer Grade: B

 

Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
DS 2.0Englishyes
Dolby Digital
5.1
Englishyes


Audio Transfer Review: The audio is surprisingly presented in Dolby 5.1. There really isn’t much use of the surrounds save for the occasional sound effect or score support. Mostly front centered, this mix matches the film’s pace. A Dolby 2.0 track is also present.

Audio Transfer Grade: B

 

Disc Extras

Full Motion menu with music
Scene Access with 20 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English with remote access
1 Other Trailer(s) featuring Six Days in Roswell
20 Deleted Scenes
2 Featurette(s)
1 Feature/Episode commentary by director Roger Nygard, Denise Crosby, producer Mike Leahy
Packaging: generic plastic keepcase
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: RSDL

Extras Review: There are quite a few entertaining extras to sort through. First up is an audio commentary with director Roger Nygard, Denise Crosby and producer Mike Leahy. Their comments are very funny and lighthearted, adding their own memories and stories about the people, places and things they encountered. Get ready for Trekkies 3: Asia!

Almost an hour of deleted scenes (56m:23s) is also included. This is like a bonus documentary, showing additional bits from every portion of the final product. There are some interesting sequences here, including a portion on love that has blossomed as a result of Star Trek. The scenes are segmented into 20 chapters that can be played together.

Next is material from two separate fan films. The first is Minnesotan Brian Dellis’ Final Frontier Revisited (06m:53s). This is a campy, comedic wild west Trek that has some nice production values. The director also offers comments on an optional commentary track along with companions Paul Rudeen and Ken Wieken. Finally, “Z-list” celebrity Gabriel Koerner himself offers up a clip from his satirical fan film Really Bad Star Trek (08m:30s), shot in his garage on a set built for around $200. His dad basically lost his job and girlfriend building this thing. He doesn’t seem to mind, though; his son is paramount. The latter short is actually presented in anamorphic widescreen.

There is also a clip from Suckers and a trailer for Six Days in Roswell, two other Nygard films.

Extras Grade: B+

 

Final Comments

Trekkies 2 is a hilarious, yet respectful look at Trek fandom from around the world. It’s the most fun I’ve had with a DVD in quite a while. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have tickets to go see No Kill I.

 


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