Tuesday, 17 November 2009
DVD REVIEW: FANBOYS
Available now on DVD and Blu-ray
Confession: I did not see the original Star Wars films in their entirety until they were digitally remastered and re-released in cinemas in 1997. But such was their pervasiveness in the pop culture consciousness, I was well aware of the characters, the storylines and, of course, the esteem in which they were held by Star Wars fans. And by esteem I mean unquestioning, undying love for all things existing in the space opera world of George Lucas’s creation.
Another confession: I have not watched the Star Wars prequels in their entirety and have no real desire to do so. I have seen bits of each when they have screened on TV but only bits as it is not too long before boredom sets in. For let’s be honest, these are pretty dull films. Whatever excitement and wonder Lucas managed to create with his earlier films, he set about obliterating with these CGI-heavy works of tedium. It must have been heartbreaking for many Star Wars fans to find that the creator of their universe had peaked after the first three (well, after The Empire Strikes Back if we’re being really honest).
Fanboys exists in the world prior to the release of prequel #1 The Phantom Menace, with the protagonists (the titular fanboys and, yes, geeks if not nerds) yet to have their faith in George Lucas crushed. It is 1998 and the four are already excited about the film’s future release although not enough to heal the rift between Eric (Sam Huntington) and Linus (Christopher Marquette), the former leaving his friends behind to pursue a sales career in his father’s car yard. But when it is revealed that Linus has cancer and may not live to see The Phantom Menace, the friends unite on a mission: to travel to Skywalker Ranch in California, break in to Lucas’s home and steal the unfinished print of Phantom. What could possibly go wrong?
Yes it’s a road movie and a boy’s own one at that, although Kristen Bell of Veronica Mars fame appears to alleviate the geeky-scented testosterone. But it’s not a gross out comedy nor a geeks-own take on The Hangover, this year’s earlier, much bawdier road movie comedy. The laughs here are mild although those with more than a passing knowledge of Star Wars will get many more of the in-jokes than I did. That said, any novice will spot the various Star Wars cameos.
Fanboys is a fun film, made by Star Wars fans, mostly for Star Wars fans. The 2-disc Special Edition comes with deleted scenes and Disturbances in the Force: A Series of Webisodes which will no doubt tickle their light sabres. I could say ‘may the force be with you’ but I won’t.