Friday, March 27, 2009


It's The Famed Compactus!

You really gotta take yours hats off to the writers of Fanboys, because while one might think it's easy to have the majority of the lines here adapted from some memorable one-liners from various of fan-supported films, contrary by the time you sit through this, you would have gathered new found respect in having to string it all and having them make some sense, though some may have felt a little forced (pardon the pun).

Set in 1999 some 3 months before the release of Episode 1: The Phantom Menace, Fanboys has relative unknowns Sam Huntington (who snagged the role of Jimmy Olsen in Superman Returns), Chris Marquette (who looks like Paul Rudd), Jay Baruchel (one of those guys in Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist, Tropic Thunder and Knocked Up) and Dan Fogler (Good Luck Chuck, and the lead in Balls of Fury) play a group of buddies who decide to take a road trip from Ohio to the George Lucas' Skywalker Ranch, in order to sneak a peek at the first prequel Star Wars film. The initial few minutes sets up their background, suffice to know that they are some really nerdy geeks who live and breathe everything that Lucas created, and save for one, don't really hold a day job. One's living in his mom's garage, while another runs a comic book store and spends his time interacting with the opposite sex online and oblivious to the hints dropped by store worker Zoe (Kristen Bell, who was in Pulse and as Sarah Marshall herself in Forgetting Sarah Marshall, only now in dark hair). You know the (tired) drill.

Things only pick up when the chaps hit the road, and like a typical road movie, it's episodic, with almost everything already seen in the trailer. Each episode allows some geek trivia to be loaded on screen, be it lines of dialogue, a cameo by a celebrity (William Shatner, Billy Dee Williams, Ray Parks and so on...), coupled with the insane arguments within the passionate members of the group as they debate live and death issues like the incestuous relationship between the Skywalker siblings, and to every Star Wars fan who are not Trekkers, the intense rivalry between the two, who in my opinion represent as rabid a fan can get in their allegiance to possibly two of the largest make believe worlds.

Unfortunately there are few moments of genuine laughter, and you'll be left quite unsure if you're laughing at the jokes, or at the very lame delivery of the punchline. Suffice to say that the trailer gave away most of the best bits, and there's a slew of the expected twists and turns coming up that would already have been hinted at. I'm not sure how Harry Knowles got himself a short stint at this gig, but again, most guys here are either playing themselves, or show some flashes of flamboyance from their legendary on-screen characters. For example, since there was much talk about Leia kissing Luke, you'd half expect somewhere for Carrie Fisher to pop up playing another character, and locking lips with someone.

This film is made for the fanboy in you, or for those who are itching for a challenge in identifying any fan moment or reference, to determine who amongst a group is the bigger geek. Otherwise, there are plenty of situations that'll just fly by your radar, with some folks getting it and guffawing away, and others sitting and staring blankly at the screen. If pop culture is beyond you, then skip this. Otherwise the only kick you'll get is from the trivia pursuit game you'll automatically play.

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