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The title of this documentary is taken from one of the funniest
Saturday Night Live" skits of the 1980s--the one where William Shatner
addresses a groups of Trekkies and tells them to 'get a life'! It's an
excellent title to this Shatner-hosted show, as it explores Star Trek
fandom as well as tries to draw some meaning to all this.
Now I mentioned in the summary that it was more enjoyable than the documentary "Trekkies" and I think this is true for two main reasons. First, I really liked all the touching vignettes in "Get a Life". While I would have STILL preferred more of these, much of "Get a Life" nearly brings you to tears even if you are not a Star Trek fan. Second, it does offer a bit more depth than just folks attending conventions and obsessing about the Trek. Shatner and others try to find a deeper meaning and often parallels to Joseph Campbell's "Hero's Journey" are discussed. In other words, how are traditional mythology and Star Trek obsession similar?
Overall, this is clearly a show that would appeal most to Star Trek fans, but even to the casual and non-obsessed fan (like myself) it has a lot of appeal. Well worth seeing.
I completely enjoyed this documentary, so was a little surprised by some of the negative reviews of it. It certainly did NOT put down Star Trek fans in any way. While not a "Trekkie" myself, I have loved the shows in all their variations. I was one of the fortunate kids who was 8-10 when the first Star Trek series was on air. I doubt I realized at that tender age the message that Roddenberry was trying to impart in his writing, but even being that young my psyche recognized that there was an inherent "goodness" about what the characters were doing. I think that Mr. Shatner did an excellent job with this documentary explaining why this phenomenon has survived for 45 years. The long term Trek fans recognize this "goodness" as well. In a world increasingly filled with terrorist attacks and those in elected office who cannot find a way to communicate, the Trek fans around the world have a "family" they can turn to who share a common interest and resolve - that people are good at heart and can find a way to get along and that we are all one Earth family. Those that have come to the conventions for decades have formed a second family and lifelong friends. How can that possibly be a bad thing? I'm sure it seems eccentric to some but when you consider all the horrible things going on in our world, this gathering of people interested in friendship and family is refreshing and this documentary did an excellent job communicating that.
Get a Life! (2012)
** 1/2 (out of 4)
William Shatner wrote and directed this documentary that has him wondering who are all those people who show up at Star Trek conventions. Shatner narrates the various stories of people but he also interviews them about what makes the TV series and movies so special to them and why they travel hundreds of miles to hang out with other fans. The title itself refers to a joke that Shatner said on a Saturday Night Live appearance but those worried this film is going to make fun of the people who are fans then they have nothing to worry about. I must admit that to date I've only seen a couple of the movies and I've never seen any of the television shows so I'm certainly an outsider to this fan-mania. With that said, I still found the film to be slightly entertaining because I too am interested in the types of people who go to these festivals. I think it's clear that you can't just call them "geeks" because just about every type of person goes to these things. I think, for the most part, the film manages to be entertaining when it's looking at the actual fans. The thing starts to get a bit overblown when Shatner is interviewing so called "experts" who discuss the meanings of fans and what they see in the show. GET A LIFE! runs just 58-minutes so it's certainly not complete by any stretch of the imagination but I think fans of Shatner and the series should enjoy it.
Shatner made this documentary to squeeze some more money out of the
Star Trek fans. In the first 20 minutes, several nice people are
interviewed only to be ridiculed by Shatner's voice over and cut
scenes. He obviously does not live by the phrase, "you don't bite the
hand that feeds you".
If you love Star Trek I encourage you to continue, but I have no respect for the actor/director William Shatner. The people interviewed in this film should file a class action lawsuit against his actions. They were interviewed by a camera crew only to have Shatner add his voice over later making sport of the very people who make the Star Trek fiction a life of reality.
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