Friday, June 12, 2009
For The Fanboy In All Of Us
I can admit it. I'm a fanboy. The Star Wars movies were a huge influence on me as a kid as to this day have affected everything from my behavior, my speech, my morals and values, action figures, comic books, novels, tee shirts, Halloween costumes, home furnishings, fan fiction and once, quite unfortunately, my haircut for a summer. As a kid, I dreamed about going into space, wooing princesses and defeating bad guys. While I have remained Earth bound for my life, I have been able to do some rather amazing things in the fashion of a Han Solo or a Lando Calrissian. Now that I am all grown up, I have embraced my inner geekdom and proudly fly my fanboy flag and could not wait to see Fanboys.
The story in the movie is as interesting as the story of making the movie. There are websites dedicated to the battle against Harvey Weinstein, who was determined to cut out the emotional core of the story and the characters motivation for their adventure. In 1998, four friends countdown the days until the release of Phantom Menace. But, they decide to travel from Ohio to Skywalker Ranch in California in order to see the movie. I won't give away too much, but while some may have thought the side plot was "too depressing" for audiences, without it, the story would have been useless and really, it stays in the background for most of the movie. The movie is really a love letter to both Star Wars as a trilogy and a culture. It's filled with verbal, visual and audio callbacks to the original films and cameos from original Star Wars cast members and famous Star Wars fans (Kev Smith, Danny McBride and Seth Rogen in a Peter Sellers-like three role turn). Moreover than a movie like Mallrats, it's made by and for true fans of movies and comics and video games and, by being set ten years, perfectly captures the time of my high school years. The movie is equal parts teen comedy, road movie, genre spoof and almost a coming of age story. I finally got to see it in theaters upon it's release, but now that it's on DVD, everybody should check it out, if you like Star Wars or not. And if you're not, why are you reading this?
The best part of the movie is Dan Fogler. He steals every scene with his Billy Dee impressions. constant humping, Jedi mind tricks and faux tough guy routine. Dude was worth the ticket price alone.
Also, loved Kristen Bell. She made this movie while doing Veronica Mars and before Forgetting Sarah Marshall, but she lovingly fills the role of the fangirl to perfection. For all of you men who are lucky enough to have a woman who quotes her favorite SNL sketches, borrows your graphic novels and never returns them or just wants to go see a movie at midnight with you, maybe someday you'll be able to talk her into an outfit like this.