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Sunday, July 10, 2011


Fanboys is an indie film wrought with troubles in its production. Originally it was going to be released in late 2006, then they wanted to reshoot some scenes so went with early 2007. Unfortunately cast members being busy delayed the release until late 2008. This also meant their were a lot of edits to the film, perhaps too many. Apparently some of the more sensitive moments were changed for some of the crude comedy which seems out of place with the rest of the film, and it shows.

There's one scene early on where all the guys are forced to strip at a gay bar, that could have been cut really easily, and  nothing would be lost, not even comedy considering how unfunny that sequence was. These random sequences do drag the film down a bit, but overall I really liked it. This is apparently a differing opinion to the critics given its 30% on Rotten Tomatoes, but it is a great Star Wars movie.

That is what the film is really about, fanboys, the rampant devotion of the titular characters is shown throughout the film, not necessarily in a positive light, but in an honest self evaluation. The creators of the film were obviously huge fans, from the use of original sounds to the constant references, and choice of actors it shows a nerds devotion to the art of Star Wars.

It also shies away from the obvious "the prequel's sucked lolololol" jokes, aside from one minor comment at the end, and this makes it a much better film. It embraces the cheesiness of Star Wars, but also shows just how much any given media can mean to fans, as the events that drive the film are because one devoted fan just wants to see Episode 1 before he dies of cancer. This is the serious plot point that could have used more time, though it does kind of undercurrent the film, and there is a lot of more subtle hints at it throughout, thought they could have been expanded upon.

Some of the fanboyness shines through , like when they stumble upon Lucas' private sanctuary, with all the original props, it is an amazing sight. The reverence they treat the films with is what sets this apparent from parodies like Scary Movie and the like, it embraces the subject matter lovingly, though not without good humor, instead of insulting it. Overall this is what makes it the better film, and definitely one I would watch again, as the loving reverence reminds of an age past, when the original trilogy was all there was, and we loved every last moment of it.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Those That Service Us

They live life everyday, bored of their seemingly tepid existence. All this is compounded when one clerk, Dante, is bullied into coming in on his day off. This classic 1994 film by director Keven Smith is one of the defining movies of the indie movement, and it's development is amazingly entertaining. He maxed out 8 credit cards by pretending to be his boss, and work night and day to make sure the film got done. Overall he got about one hour of sleep for many night, nearly driving himself insane.

The film has its problems, and its limited budget shines through in numerous instances. The most obvious of this is the fact that it is in black and white, a trend that ended just more than 25 years before this film came out, but the incredibly limited budget made it the only option. The actors are also, not the highlight of the film, the limited budget meant friends and family of Smith's had to come in and 'act', but sometimes the silences are obviously the actors forgetting lines, and some of the reactions seem stilted.

This is also Smith's first real film, and the camera angles and the technical stuff are all obviously amateur. Despite all of this, I still love the film. This is a result of the dialogue, it is so well written that the rest of the movie is excused from its many faults. The movie is funny, it's full of pop culture references that are more than just quotes, and has a loving knowledge of comedy.

It is also a very human film, from the customers who come in just wanting a pack of smokes, to the main characters Dante and Randal who are characterized as normal people, they contrast each other extremely well with Randall openly spitting in the customer's faces, sometimes literally, and Dante bottling up his anger until it bursts at the climax of the film.

This is what makes the writing so impressive, it just seems like a group of friend's talking, because that is what it is. You don't need to make up dialogue when your typical conversations fit the characters, and it adds realism because they are the kind of conversations that go on. It also helps define the target audience and makes it so much more enjoyable by drawing you in. For example the Star Wars conversation in the middle sounds exactly like something we would say, in fact I'm sure I've had a similar discussion in real life.

Clerks is one of my favorite 90s films, I feel it really represents the decade. The Seinfeldian nature was right at its peak, and the conversations are so real, that the faults of the film just fade into the background as the witty dialogue takes the show. I suppose I love the film because if it comes to that I could see me in that position, it's not favorable but it is a distinct possibility, and that makes it real, and a real movie like this is strictly superior to all those with painstakingly written dialogue, that it stands as a gem in a shit.