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TO INFINITY AND BEYOND

"Galaxy Quest," starring Tim Allen ("Home Improvement"), Sigourney Weaver ("Aliens") and Alan Rickman ("Die Hard").

"Long ago, in a galaxy far far away" lived a race of nice happy octopus creatures, the Thermians, and they discovered cable television.

Now, these octopus creatures are being hounded by evil grasshopper creatures (it's a classic idea, really). The octopus creatures, led by Enrico Colantoni of "Just Shoot Me" fame, come to us humans for help.

Back on Earth, Tim Allen and the cast of a long-canceled sci-fi sitcom (What sitcom? What else? "Galaxy Quest") are 20 years older but still doing science fiction conventions. "Galaxy Quest" was a hip-hop and happenin' show in the '70s, but the film takes place now, when the show is old news and just something to laugh at (like Menudo or Charlie Sheen).

The octopus creatures take the cast up to their spaceship, thinking that the actors are really the galactic heroes that they portray. Their mission: Stop the grasshopper creatures from taking, what was thought to be, the most powerful weapon of mass destruction in the universe.

It's really just a parody. Does "Star Trek" ring a bell?

"Galaxy Quest" includes everything from the heroic space captain to a tear-jerker death scene, an inter-species relationship and a happy ending. That is every episode of "Star Trek" ever made.

Sigourney Weaver and Alan Rickman join a cast crawling with sitcom actors. It seemed a little peculiar to me at first, since sitcom actors aren't really known for their acting, whereas Weaver and Rickman are. But their decision to do this film was justified by the end result.

On the whole, "Galaxy Quest" is just pure family fun. Note: For those people who are always whining that Hollywood doesn't make family films anymore, director Dean Parisot and DreamWorks give you "Galaxy Quest." So stop whining.

Kids will like it because of the special effects, although there were some freaky little bald aliens I'm going to have nightmares about, and adults will like the references to "Star Trek," sci-fi conventions and a blond Sigourney Weaver.

Here's how I see it, "Star Trek" is to Trekkies as "Galaxy Quest" is to octopus creatures.

The message: Fans can make or break an actor, and so can large, grasshopper-looking alien-guys.

Janet Bossard is a junior at Olean High School.

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