DVD/Blu-ray Reviews

Fanboys - DVD Review



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</script></div>{/googleAds}Of all the small budget films that come and go each year, it is difficult to recall one with such a lengthy and publically turmoiled production as ‘Fanboys'. With delay after delay after delay to release, reshoots, whispers of the director and producers falling out, excising and recutting of a major plot point, a public backlash at the producers, and another director being hired to pick up some final shots, one could be forgiven for thinking this flick was doomed before it got started. But thankfully, blessedly, the trouble was worth it.

FanboysKyle Newman's lark across America tells the story of three lifelong friends who, at the beginning of their journey, have lost touch with one (Sam Huntington). He has tried to ‘grow up', work at his father's car dealership, and be a man. His three buds, however, have ways to go, are still figuring stuff out, and are still obsessed with their childhood love: Star Wars. When one of them is diagnosed with a terminal illness (Christopher Marquette), all four friends reunite and drive cross country to break into Lucasfilm and steal a copy of ‘The Phantom Menace'.

On first hearing ‘terminal illness' and ‘comedy', it doesn't stand out as the greatest idea to combine the two, but this film works a treat. The Weinstein's almost turned sheepish and removed this strand of the story, and it would have destroyed the film as a whole. The illness becomes the emotional anchor of the entire film, but it not the focus. The focus is on the importance of friendships, accepting who you are, and taking joy from life wherever you find it—all delivered with some pee in your pants moments from all four characters. Always upbeat, never trying to manipulate your emotions, the characters focus on all things Lucas and accomplishing a lifelong goal. There are no sappy, dying words moments—just a sweet final scene that perfectly encapsulates what this film is all about.

Dan Fogler is a comedic standout. His attempts to use Jedi mind powers to undress women are a destined classic. Kristen Bell adds some estrogenic comedy, but this is the one character that, in the believability stakes, fares the worst—pining after one of the nerds for half the film is a tough one to sell. Jay Buruchel and the two leads help round out a group that avoids cliché and are remarkably funny without trying to be.

There are some clever set pieces that nod to Lucas's galaxy far, far away. Official Star Wars sound effects (provided by the beard himself after seeing an early cut and liking it). There are a couple of amusing high profile cameos, and lampooning of the Star Wars vs. Star Trek rivalry. And of course, no film that claims to embrace the love of Star Wars would be complete without some of the actors from the saga both original and prequel showing up to help the nerds along.

In a world of incessant sequels and remakes ‘Fanboys' is a refreshing, original spark of a comedy. Fun and poignant, crass and endearing, a fun ride from start to finish.


Component Grades
Movie
DVD
4 stars
4 stars
DVD Experience
4 stars

DVD

DVD Details:

Screen Formats: 1.85:1

Subtitles: English; Spanish; Closed Captioned

Language and Sound: English: Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo

Other Features: Color; interactive menus; scene access.

Supplements:

Commentary

  • Feature-length commentary track with director Newman, writers Adam F. Goldberg and Ernest Cline, and actors Fogler, Bell, and Huntington.

Featurettes

  • The Truth about Fanboys (5:49)
  • Star Wars Parallel (5:19)
  • 4 Fanboys & 1 Fangirl (8:50)
  • The Choreography (03:40
  • Disturbances In The Force: A Series of Webisodes" (11:40 total)

Deleted Scenes - 6 scenes that didn't make the final for a total of (07:20)

Number of Discs: 1 with Keepcase Packaging

{pgomakase}

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