Fantastic Fest 2008: Kyle Newman's Fanboys
by Alex Billington
September 19, 2008
I kicked off my first ever Fantastic Fest down in Austin, TX with a comedy all about fanboys, which couldn't have been a more appropriate way to start this fest. Fanboys is a comedy from filmmaker Kyle Newman that follows four friends and their crazy cross-country adventure in an attempt to break into George Lucas' Skywalker Ranch and steal a rough copy of Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace to be the first to watch it. In essence, it's a movie about Star Wars geeks made by Star Wars geeks. And considering I'm a Star Wars geek at heart, it hit that special spot within me that few films can. Fanboys takes us back to a time before the prequels, back when being a Star Wars geek was still a good thing.
Or so I think? Hutch (Dan Fogler), Linus (Chris Marquette), and Windows (Jay Baruchel) couldn't be bigger social misfits. Each one a bigger Star Wars fan then the next, the three decided to hop in their Star Wars-themed van and drive from Ohio to San Francisco in order to try and see The Phantom Menace before anyone else. They're fueled by Linus' cancer diagnosis, and convince their long-lost friend Eric (Sam Huntington) to join them on what may potentially be Linus' last trip. As anyone might predict, things get out of hand when Hutch makes a detour up to Iowa to bash some Trekkie heads and when Windows demands they drive through Texas so he can meet a friend who supposedly has plans to Skywalker Ranch. But in the end they do get to where they were originally headed, albeit with some unforgettable memories.
As hilarious as this was, especially for a huge Star Wars fan like myself, it's not the best comedy of the year. The biggest problem with Fanboys is that Dan Fogler really can't hold his own. As was proven with Balls of Fury prior, he's a great sidekick, but a terrible lead. If someone like Jonah Hill had been given the part instead, we might've had a much better movie. But beyond that, if you can at least get a kick out of watching four of the biggest Star Wars geeks in the entire world make every reference and every Star Wars joke imaginable, you might yet enjoy the film. It didn't always have the funniest jokes, but I gave it a pass because so much of it had a hilarious Star Wars tinge that only true fans, like myself, might actually get. Plus, I can appreciate a film that can accurately depict real fanboys, even with bad actors.
Fanboys seems like a film that has been stretched too thin by this point of time. Its been worked and reworked so much that all of those genuine story elements have been lost. Instead, we get an amalgamation of all the best jokes and all the best story elements, but not a complete story. The controversial cancer aspect that has been discussed over and over was included in the cut I saw, but without any actual advantage. It felt much too forced and never had any actual importance, even in the end. Overall I think Fanboys will find its place in the heart of many Star Wars geeks, but not too many others. And if you need any encouragement to see it, one of the best parts was watching Seth Rogen battle Seth Rogen in a Trekkie fan vs pimp fight.
Fantastic Fest Rating: 7 out of 10
Reader Feedback - 10 Comments
what was so bad about the prequels i enjoyed them even with hayden's shitty acting lol
nelson on Sep 19, 2008
Wow this has to be one of the most delayed films in history. I remember reading about this movie it seems like 2 years ago, or maybe even more. Am I wrong on that? It's ironic that hollywood is so short on good ideas that they're making movies about movies, and now about people who watch movies. I think Hollywood is developing a Freudian ego complex.
ImaginaryVisionary on Sep 19, 2008
Hill wouldn't have been a good lead, he's as much a sidekick as every other fat guy in film.
Jesse on Sep 20, 2008
i think the reason this movie seems that way to you is because it was suppose to be out along time ago when all of those jokes and references "were" new. i dont know. i remember seeing this trailer for this movie like alomost two years ago, i think. Dan Fogler was hilarious in balls of fury, but he didnt have the x-factor that every lead needs. I think because of the writers and because he needs to do cocaine. Every fat physical comedian needs coke. Didnt they learn that from Chris Farley. That guy was the shit!
Ray G!!!! on Sep 20, 2008
I love it when reviewers claim movies for their own and declare that no one but them and those who think exactly like them could possibly appreciate it. I guess people like creating their own little cliques or whatever. What you Star Wars fans, who've been claiming this movie as your own for several months now as some kind of exclusive measure of cool or something, always forget is that fans of these actors will also find a lot to love in it too. And I'm not just talking about guys drooling over Kristen Bell in the slave Leia costume. This very talented cast has a lot of fans. And we'll be there opening weekend. Regardless of whether we're SW geeks or not.
Deb on Sep 20, 2008
Where did the term 'fanboy' come from originally?
Valeriewriter on Sep 20, 2008
might be funny, i'll watch it cause i do like star wars @Valeriewriter w/Where did the term 'fanboy' come from originally? - you know all those little children (mainly boys) on the internet that pasionately flame over whatever thing they believe to be the best ever... they are fans, and they are little boys so they were termed fanboys and it caught on... those crazzy little buggers
Janny on Sep 20, 2008
Deb I've argued with you before, seriously most of the comedy has to do with Star Wars jokes. Just let it lie.
Movieraider321 on Sep 20, 2008
The term was flying around a lot on the comments of my reviews, so I was wondering if it was an insult or what. Seems like a harmless title. 🙂
Valeriewriter on Sep 21, 2008
Hey, I thought the movie stunk the whole theater up, but why all of the fat guy jokes on here? Someone even said that fat guys should not have lead roles. I bet you are some 100 lb. valley girl wanna be Jesse. You think skinny is the best/only way to live life. Grow up B_ _ CH !!! I bet you are even some border line emo skank too... The movie sucked and u suck even more. Go eat a twinkie !!!
johnny c on Aug 22, 2009
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