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PARAMOUNT

MOVIE INFO

Director:
Roger Nygard
Narrated By:
Denise Crosby
Writing Credits:
Roger Nygard

Synopsis:
Director Roger Nygard and actress Denise Crosby (Star Trek: The Next Generation) follow up their 1996 documentary about Star Trek fandom with the globetrotting sequel Trekkies 2. This time around, Nygard and Crosby venture beyond the United States to document Star Trek conventions around the world, traveling to Germany, England, Italy, Serbia, Australia, and Brazil while raising thought-provoking questions about the nature of obsessive fandom.

MPAA:
Rated PG

DVD DETAILS
Presentation:
Fullscreen 1.33:1
Audio:
English Dolby Digital 5.1
English Dolby 2.0
Subtitles:
English
Closed-captioned

Runtime: 93 min.
Price: $19.99
Release Date: 8/31/2004

Bonus:
• Audio Commentary with Director Roger Nygard, Host Denise Crosby, and Producer Mike Leahy
• Deleted Scenes
• Fan Films
• Roger Nygard’s Previous Works


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RELATED REVIEWS


Trekkies 2 (2004)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (September 16, 2004)

Some sequels will lose you if you didn’t watch the first one. Not so much with Trekkies 2, an exploration of die-hard Star Trek fans. The original 1997 film examined American partisans, whereas the 2004 take on the topic broadens its scope to international dimensions. It doesn’t matter much if you never saw the first one.

Again directed by Roger Nygard, Trekkies 2 also re-utilizes former Next Generation cast member Denise Crosby as host and narrator. Her travels take us to meet Trek fans in Germany, England, Italy, Brazil, France, Australia, and Serbia. We also go to Baltimore, Little Rock, Bakersfield, Minneapolis, Los Angeles, and Sacramento to catch up with subjects from the original film, series staffers, and Trek-themed bands.

Throughout the film, we meet scads of fans, and we also hear soundbites from others connected to Trek. We find notes from former Trek pre-production coordinator Lolita Fatjo, Enterprise consulting producer David Goodman, executive producer Brannon Braga, Free Enterprise director Robert Burnett, fan historian Ben Yalow, Trek consultant Richard Arnold, Trek actors Nana Visitor, Cirroc Lofton, Ethan Phillips, Tracey Scoggins, Richard Herd, Dominic Keating, Phil Morris, Vaughn Armstrong, Carolyn Seymour, Casey Biggs, John Billingsley, and Connor Trinneer.

If nothing else, Trekkies 2 teaches us that nerds are the same everywhere. That comes as a disappointment, actually, for it robs the film of much of its potential entertainment value. I expected there to be some inherent differences among the various nationalities. Shouldn’t the Germans really like the Klingons, while the Brazilians would tend toward the series’ more hedonistic characters? That doesn’t seem to be the case, as I noted very few differences among any of the nationalities. (Surprisingly, Serbia appears to have the highest number of attractive female fans, though the two bikini-clad Brazilians were the hottest women on display in the flick.)

I saw the original Trekkies and thought it was entertaining. Unfortunately, nothing in Trekkies 2 seems quite as memorable. Let’s face it: we watch this kind of flick to see the extreme fans, the nutbags who obsess over Trek just a little too much. People like Barbara Adams of Arkansas, the middle-aged woman who showed up to serve on the Whitewater jury in her Starfleet uniform. No one in the sequel matches up to her.

Actually, that’s not totally true, as we learn when the film revisits Adams. She’s still just as out there as ever, but she introduces us to her friend Jean Whitehead who seems even wackier. Whitehead looks an awful lot like later-years DeForest Kelley and is heavily into the whole alien community. In probably the funniest bit seen in the flick, she shows us a prize she won at a convention. It’s a portrait of a “real” alien. What makes it special? All the other works she saw were just drawings, but this was an actual picture and a portrait!

The utter seriousness with which Whitehead discusses this makes it hilarious, especially since she appears to believe that the use of the word “portrait” alone somehow proves the existence of alien life. It’s just another sketch, but she gives it such import, possibly because she seems to think an ET sat down and posed for it. None of the foreign fans can touch her for wackiness - not by a long shot. Yeah, the guy who designed his apartment to resemble all things Trek is odd, but even he doesn’t seem that bad, partially because of his mercenary streak; he wants to sell the whole lot of e-bay, which comes across as less than slavishly devoted to me.

Overall, Trekkies 2 seems entertaining, but I think the first film explored the subject better. It provided a nice run of interesting characters, whereas this one has to stretch much more. I think that’s a lot of the reason we get reprises with a few of the participants from the original; the second one lacked the same personality and sense of direction. It has some fun moments, but even at only 90 minutes, it drags and can become tedious.


The DVD Grades: Picture C+/ Audio C/ Bonus B+

Trekkies 2 appears in an aspect ratio of 1.33:1 on this single-sided, double-layered DVD; due to those dimensions, the image has not been enhanced for 16X9 televisions. A videotaped production, Trekkies mostly looked fine but it showed off some limitations of the format.

Sharpness mainly came across well. Occasional shots appeared slightly ill-defined, but those didn’t occur frequently. For the most part, the program seemed acceptably distinctive, though not well great definition. Some mild examples of jagged edges and shimmering happened, and I saw some light edge enhancement. No real source flaws popped up, though I noticed a bit of video artifacts in some darker shots.

Colors went for a natural look, and they seemed reasonably developed. The tones were fairly rich and full. Some flatness affected them, but not badly, as the colors generally looked clear. Blacks were moderately deep but could be somewhat muddy, and low-light shots tended to be somewhat dense, though they maintained acceptable clarity. Overall, the image seemed clear and very watchable but not anything special.

Similar sentiments greeted the Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack of Trekkies 2. Given its origins, one shouldn’t expect much from the movie’s soundfield. Most elements focused on the center channel. Speech and the majority of effects came from the middle. Occasionally environmental elements broadened lightly to the sides, but they didn’t open up things terribly well. Music showed nice stereo imaging, though, and those pieces offered a nice feel. The surrounds slightly reinforced those aspects of the track but not much else, as they played a very small role in the proceedings.

Audio quality was average. Speech always remained intelligible and usually seemed fairly natural, though some edginess occasionally affected the lines. Effects were minor and generally somewhat lackluster since they came from the source recordings. They didn’t seem poor, but they failed to present much life. Music fared best, as the overdubbed songs and score were pretty bright and bouncy. Nothing about the audio excelled, but the track was adequate for this kind of project.

Trekkies 2 offers a surprisingly strong set of extras. We start with an audio commentary from director Roger Nygard, host Denise Crosby, and producer Mike Leahy; composer JJ Holiday also joins them late. The participants sit together for their running, screen-specific discussion. It’s a lively and fairly interesting affair. We learn about finding all the different folks featured, going to the various locations, and putting together the final product. Most of the piece acts as something of a series of footnotes, as we get more information about the people and situations. This allows it to help flesh out the film and complement it well.

Next we get 20 Deleted Scenes. These last a total of 56 minutes and 24 seconds, which almost makes them a movie in their own right. Of course, these aren’t so much “deleted scenes” as they are “outtakes”. We learn more about some of the folks in the final product, and we also introduced to some new participants. The whole package gets cut together so that it flows neatly and really does create its own program. It’s a great addition to the set and includes many good moments.

After this we find two Fan Films. One called “Final Frontier Revisited” runs six minutes, 54 seconds, and presents the entire movie. It’s like a combination of Trek and Sam Peckinpah and not very interesting, but it’s still a cool thing to see. We can even watch it with commentary from filmmakers Brian Dellis, Paul Rudeen and Ken Wieken. They provide some notes and details about the flick along with a few funny cracks.

We also see an eight minute, 30 second clip from Gabriel Koerner’s “Really Bad Star Trek”. It does live up to its title, as it attempts a Trek spoof and fails to deliver any amusement. It does feature shockingly good computer effects though.

Roger Nygard’s Previous Works presents two pieces. We get a trailer for Six Days in Roswell as well as a clip from Suckers.

While the original Trekkies offered an entertaining look at the wilder Trek fans, Trekkies 2 comes across as a fairly bland rehash. It lacks the distinctiveness of the first movie and doesn’t present many memorable moments. The DVD gives us acceptable picture and sound with some very nice extras highlighted by a surfeit of unused footage. Heavy Trek fans may get a kick out of this one, but I didn’t find it to offer much entertainment.

Viewer Film Ratings: 4.2 Stars Number of Votes: 5
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