Get a Life! (2012)
An EPIX Original documentary directed by William Shatner, based on his hugely popular book, in which he examines the cultural phenomena of STAR TREK, its fan-following and his own role within it.
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A lot of fun.
After playing with our expectations, this turns out to be a very different sort of film.
Exactly the movie you think it is, but not the movie you want it to be.
Based on the William Shatner book of the same name, "Get A Life!" is a two-pronged looked at the Star Trek phenomenon. One prong works very well, while the other one fails pretty much miserably:-The parts of the show that focus on the Trek conventions and the fans that populate them are very interesting, humorous, and touching all at the same time. Fellow Trek fans will relate to many of the stories told and identify with the people telling them. Plus, it is just fun to see all the great costumes!-However, the parts of this documentary where Shatner tries to "figure out" the philosophical meanings of Star Trek are boring and fall completely flat. It doesn't help matters that we all know by now that Shatner is such a clown that to take him seriously on anything is ludicrous (!).Had this been a documentary entitled something like "Star Trek: The Conventions" and stripped of all Shatner's musings, it would have been a much better overall experience. As it is, "Get A Life" is only so-so, with moments of pure fun/emotion off-balanced by philosophical ramblings.
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.
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.
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.