Thursday, May 21, 2009


fanboysMOVIE: Fanboys
MOD-BLOG RATING: 3.5 out of 5

THE SHORT VERSION: A solidly funny, if occasionally raunchy, film if you are a Star Wars fan or love one. Especially fun if you are steeped in science fiction movies, and can identify all the in-jokes and cameos.

THE LONG VERSION: I am a die-hard STAR WARS fan. I grew up in the furor and the insanity surrounding the original trilogy. I was too young to see the first one in the theater (first saw it when it came to WPIX in the late 80s) but saw both EMPIRE and JEDI with wide eyes and soaring heart. I loved the story, the characters, the amazing effects. I bought lots of the toys, most of the books (both canon and spin-offs), and spent an embarrassing amount of time trying to merge the Star Wars, GI Joe, and Transformers universes during my play-time. I am one of those fans who knows pretty much all the trivia from the universe (not so much the actors surrounding it) and who has strong opinions about the difference between a "Dark Jedi" and "Sith Lord". (No, they are NOT the same thing.) So, I was very excited to see FANBOYS, a movie which focuses in on the extreme end of Star Wars fandom. The movie was only in limited release in theaters, but is now out on DVD for all to see.

The basic plot of the movie begins 6 months before the release of Star Wars: The Phantom Menace. Five STAR WARS fans are friends in their mid-twenties, and are eager to see the next "masterpiece" coming from George Lucas. There is only one problem. One of them has been diagnosed with untreatable cancer, and will not live to see opening day. So what is their solution? Travel cross-country and break into Skywalker Ranch to steal a copy of the movie.

The movie is funny - not rollicking, laugh-out-loud funny, but I was entertained the whole time. It has a solid cast who seems to understand the archetypes of the Star Wars fan, and the writer and director handle the mythos with care. The movie is full of cameos from science fiction icons - from William Shatner to Carrie Fisher - and there are almost constant inside jokes for those who are familiar with classic sci fi films. There is even a running joke/plotline dealing with the rivalry between Star Wars and Star Trek fans. And the film ends with what is a mostly happy finish.

The only real downside to this film is a plethora of sex jokes, most of which were unnecessary. Still, this is the Kevin Smith generation - he even makes a cameo, along with Seth Rogan - so it is not unexpected. Still, families with children should probably avoid this one and take the PG-13 rating seriously.

But if you grew up with Star Wars, this is a must-see movie. More likely than not, you'll see yourself somewhere in here. If you ar NOT a Star Wars fan, then there is probably something with Matthew McConaughey out there for you to watch.

1 comment:

Sean said...

In other news they're already planning Fanboys 2. Interesting.