By CAINE GARDNER
This flick was a long time coming. In spite of a production and post-production that was fife with sometimes laughable interference from the studio, this film found its way to the big screen and into the hearts of millions.
It was billed as a love letter to Star Wars fans, which it is, but Fanboys is much more than that. It's a movie that has a heavy subplot that is the engine that pushes our heroes on their quest.
It's 1998 and Eric (Sam Huntington) has moved on. He's moving his way up the family business and has given up his high school dream of drawing comics. Also left in his past is his love of Star Wars. On the flipside, there's Hutch (Dan Fogler), Windows (Jay Baruchel) and Linus (Christopher Marquette), a trio whose lives still revolve around the Holy Trilogy and aren't a bit afraid to show it.
Meeting the day following a party, Hutch and Windows inform Eric that Linus has terminal cancer and that he might want to think about setting things right. One of the most hyped movies in history, Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace opens in a little less than a year and it's clear that Linus might not be around for its premiere.
After being handed the keys to the family biz, Eric reveals Linus' map where Linus mapped their way to George Lucas' utopia Skywalker Ranch. The twist? The quad will break into the Ranch and steal a print of Menace so Linus will be able to see it.
They load up in Hutch's van, one of the coolest, geeked out rides in the entire galaxy, and make their way across the country. Along the way, they have run-ins with Trekkies, or Trekkers for the politically correct folks, a hallucinogenic campfire powwow and an incident with police that brings Zoe (Kristen Bell) into the fold.
The fanboys reach their destination, get into the Ranch and are caught. After learning the reason of the break in, Lucas, who unfortunately doesn't make a cameo, allows Linus to view the film.
On the journey back, Eric attempts to make peace with Linus, to which he informs Eric that the trek didn't have anything to do with the movie, it was about the four of them being together for one final hurrah.
What Kyle Newman achieves with the film is amazing. It's a movie that caters to the Star Wars fan in all of us. The flick is peppered with clever references, some for the casual fan, some for hardcore fans, but the film is something anyone can watch and thoroughly enjoy.
The film has numerous cameos including Billy Dee Williams, Carrie Fisher, Ray Park, Kevin Smith, Jason Mewes and Seth Rogan. The most hilarious of the cameos comes from Captain James T. Kirk himself, William Shatner. Shatner has just two minutes of screen time, but every second is funny, mostly just because it's him.
The film has been in one form of production or another for several years. Some of the major problems that plagued the production was interference from Harvey Weinstein and the studio. They felt that the cancer subplot didn't belong and wanted it out, essentially cutting out the heart of the film. A different director was brought in for reshoots and to cut out the cancer plot, which angered the Star Wars community. Ultimately, the studio did the right thing and gave control back to Newman and reinserted the cancer storyline.
The entire cast is brilliant and gives performances that go well beyond just giving us caricatures of different types of fans. Fogler is a standout performer though. His comedic skills will leave you rolling and his timing is impeccable. Definitely an actor to keep an eye on.
The disk has deleted scenes, Disturbances in the Force, a series of webisodes, 4 fanboys and 1 fangirl featurette, The Truth about Fanboys featurette, Star Wars Parallel featurette, The Choreography featurette. There's also an additional audio commentary that fans can download from iTunes that features Newman and the duo, Jason and Jimmy Mac, from the extremely popular podcast The Forcecast. But be warned, once you download this podcast, your transformation to the Dark side will be complete.
Final Cut: It's a movie that won't win an Oscar and that's exactly why I loved it. It's a movie that speaks to the hearts of, and should be owned by, every Star Wars fan. Newman has delivered us a treasure.
4.5 out of 5 lightsabers
Starring: Dan Fogler, Jay Baruchel, Sam Huntington, Christopher Marguette, Kristen Bell
Director: Kyle Newman
Writer: Ernest Cline and Adam F. Goldberg
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for pervasive crude and sexual material, language and drug content.
* Audio Commentary with Cast and Crew
* Delete Scenes
* The Truth about Fanboys featurette
* Star Wars Parallel featurette
* 4 Fanboys and 1 Fangirl featurette
* The Choreography featurette
* Disturbances in The Force: A Series of Webisodes
Available now on DVD