To Be TakeiHD Closed Captioning
Jennifer M. Kroot
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From outer space to Capitol Hill, from the silver screen to YouTube, the legendary George Takei has blazed his own trail while conquering new frontiers with a beaming trademark grin. Oh, my! TO BE TAKEI is a hilarious, entertaining, and moving look at the many roles played by eclectic 77-year-old actor/activist George Takei. His wit, humor and grace have helped him to become an internationally beloved figure and internet phenomenon with 7-million Facebook fans and counting. The film offers unprecedented access to the daily life of George and his husband/business partner Brad and chronicles George’s fascinating personal journey from Japanese American internment camp to his iconic and groundbreaking role as Sulu on STAR TREK, and his rise as an pop culture icon. The film shows what it truly means TO BE TAKEI. Featuring interviews with the cast of the original STAR TREK, the new “Sulu” John Cho, and more.
Rotten Tomatoes Movie Reviews
- Reviews Counted: 44
- Fresh: 40
- Rotten: 4
- Average Rating: 7.1/10
Top Critics' Reviews
Fresh: A unique blend of camp and conviction, "To Be Takei" deftly showcases George Takei's eclectic personality and wildly disparate achievements, from "Star Trek" crewmate to gay-rights activist.
Fresh: Chats with "Trek" cast members and other Takei friends and supporters, plus a wealth of family and archival photos and footage, complete this lively tribute.
Fresh: If witnessing Takei and Brad exchanging vows doesn't bring a tear to your eye, you're either heartless, or you're William Shatner.
Fresh: This is a film blessed with excellent footage and plenty of nice moments.
A Light & Fun Documentary
It’s been forty-seven years since George Takei began his iconic role as Sulu on the Star Trek television series, and since then he’s gone on to participate in an animated show along with six feature films portraying the same character. But what most people outside of his intimate fan-base don’t realize is that throughout the bulk of his acting career he was forced to hide his homosexuality, fearing he would lose his job and other subsequent parts he hoped to get.
But now with battles over same-sex marriage starting to see a hopeful end, he’s become deeply imbedded in the fight for gay rights. And with his position as official announcer on The Howard Stern Show, has been quite upfront about his orientation.
And “To Be Takei” doesn’t make a huge deal out of it, which is one of the main reasons I liked it. It’s a documentary that treats its subject as is, and doesn’t try to explain his many odd (but hilarious) characteristics.
As he says himself, his “life has been transformed as fantastically as science fiction”, and he’s got a point. From spending four years in various internment camps during World War 2, where American citizens of Japanese descent were rounded up and put after Pearl Harbor, to becoming a sort-of pop culture icon contained in his own bubble far away from the hubbub of Hollywood.
And the film captures his personality superbly, focusing on his constant trips to comic-cons and conventions accompanied by his Husband Brad (with their relationship also serving as a huge focal point).
It may not be a documentary that’s in anyway breaking ground, but to me, it didn’t matter. It’s a light, fun movie that will be savored by fans of Takei.
A glimpse behind the scenes of an amazing life
I knew George Takei from the original Star Trek but I had no idea about his early life in Japanese American internment camps. The movie does a fantastic job of taking you through his trials and tribulations (internment, finding roles for Asian actors in Hollywood, coming out of the closet, re-inventing himself for the digital age) while keeping a light heart and warm touch. I loved the behind-the-scenes glimpse into the life of George and his husband Brad.
Fun and important!
Touching, fun, enlightening, and hilarious! Very well-made and a joy to watch. Perhaps most importantly, it discusses the Japanese internment camps and shines a light on a part of American history we are barely taught but need to know about.