Re: Fanboys Rough Cut Premiere at Celebration Europe
by Chainsaw-1 (Mon Jul 16 2007 13:09:25)

Hi guys.

I was at Celebration Europe this weekend (met Mark Hamill!!) and was determined to see Fanboys having been impressed by the trailer. It was an extra treat to have Kyle Newman present the movie and a very cool moment when Rick Mcallum walked in for the screening too!!

Anyways, the movie exceeded my expectations. Not only was it pant-wettingly hilarious, it was massively heartfelt too. Its essentially a love-letter to Star Wars and a celebration of what it means to people, but more than that, its a celebration of life.

The standing ovation, which I was proud to be a part of, was well deserved and I'll be paying to see the final version when its released next year. I'll be shocked if any self-respecting Star Wars fan with a sense of humour didn't fall in love with the film- from what I could see at the Celebration Europe screening, everybody dug the film completely and utterly.

Kyle Newman (if you're reading!!), you've made a classic of which you can be very proud and I wish you all the best for the future.


The story follows a group of friends who try to break in Skywalker Ranch to steal a copy of Star Wars Episode 1. The reason they finally agree to do it is because one of the friends in dying of cancer and won't live to see it in theaters. Apparently the Apatow people have done research which says most people won't laugh for 5 or 10 minutes after cancer is mentioned so they want to do away with the entire cancer subplot and I've heard they have a version which edited out the entire cancer plot.

This means it's just a group of punk kids breaking into Skywalker Ranch to steal a movie to see it before it comes out. Why would I root for these kids to steal the film, if the noble reason for doing it is gone?

I'm all for more jokes and more money to make the film better, but for heaven's sake, please don't edit out the cancer plot. If you take this point away, you get rid of the heart of the film. The entire reason these kids go on this adventure is because they want their friend to see the movie before he succumbs to cancer. I understand cancer kills comedy, but a movie can have a 5 minute recovery period, it's okay! (Apparently some of the actors aren't happy with this either so maybe ask them about it)

Hopefully this version of the film has already been shot down and all these rumors will be for not, but if so I hope fan outpouring can change their minds.

Travis Tidmore

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I, too, am distressed at the reported 'tampering' that is apparently going on with Fanboys. Having seen nearly 45 minutes of said movie in various snippets while at Celebration IV in LA, it seems to me to be an unnecessary change. Having listened to the individuals most directly involved, Kyle Newman and all of the principal cast, speak so warmly, fondly, affectionately concerning their motivations for participating in this production, it aggravates and angers me that an 'outsider', even if it is Apatow, is coming in at the 11th hour and changing the entire direction of this project. I have been looking forward to the release date of this project since last Memorial day, eagerly awaiting what, for me, seemed to be a movie that would speak to my level of interest in the Star Wars universe, as similarly displayed by all of the convention attendees and the makers of this movie. Why the need to change things? I understand most people go to movies for escapist fare, but why the problem with the storyline? The joy and depth of caring the characters display by their desire to do something for their terminally ill friend is a wonderful movitation for the attempt to break into Skywalker Ranch, rather than for some mean-spirited, self-centered reason. I think changing this is a serious mistake and, if I discover that this has actually happened prior to the movie's release, I will not be spending my monies on a ticket. I do not know of Mr. Apatow or the Mssrs. Weinstein keep tabs on blogs such as yours or on internet comments and buzz, but, speaking for myself, any serious changes in the direction or main storyline will cause me to not attend this movie.

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I was also privileged to see footage at Celebration 4 and I was really looking forward to seeing the completed film. The LA audience in May didn't deflate at any point during the screening...Despite the Apatow research. It was lively and fun. The Star Wars connection is the heart of the film but the character's motivation was its soul. I would hate to see Fanboys lose any of that spirit. I hope the producers and studio execs ultimately stick with the directors original vision.

Jimmy Mac
The Force-Cast
The Force.Net/Podcast
 

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With or Without the Meaning?
Posted on Sat, January 19, 2008 by Peter

How would you like to see a film. Would you like the leads to have a motivation for what they do other than doing it for themselves? Would you prefer straight up laughs over a film that has a reason to exist?

Evidently itís more important to have a film which provides constant laughs than a film where we feel something for the characters. I am referring to the news that the film Star Wars fans have been waiting for, Fanboys, from the Weinstein company, may well be re-edited. Not just something minor but something that will change the film almost entirely. Take out the friend who is dying of cancer.

For those who know the story line that will come as a shock. For those who donít, the film is based around some Star Wars fanboys who break into Skywalker Ranch to steal The Phantom Menace for their friend who will die before the official release date.

Now, letís take the re-edit and explain the plot again. Some Star Wars fanboys break into Skywalker Ranch to steal an early copy of The Phantom menace because they want to see it before everyone else.

The reason for the re-edit is probably because after the whole subject of cancer apparently there is a period of 10 minutes where you wonít laugh. And obviously the whole dying friend thing takes a bit off of the humour off. And obviously audiences canít stand comedies with a heartÖ

Apparently the original version will be shown to test audiences along with the re-edit and it shall go from there. However there is a very important audience that may be under-represented in these tests. Star Wars fans. This film is about Star Wars fans, Star Wars fans want to see it, and Star Wars fans are probably the ones that are going to help make this film make money.

Now, without the whole cancer story line it is a comedy about Star Wars fans doing crazy stuff because theyíre Star Wars fans. So thatís the cheap laughs at Star Wars fans because theyíre obsessed film versus the Star Wars fans doing something for fellow Star Wars fans because they share a love for Star Wars. Which one do you think Star Wars fans will want to see?

Letís consider the public image of Star Wars fans, then letís think about the real side of fandom. Itís clear that a major film release would want to play to the main public stereotype because, hey, itís likely to get them some money. But if they do that they will alienate Star Wars fans. And that is a lot of people to annoy, that is a lot of money that may well not make it to their pockets.

So, if this re-edit goes ahead we will have another film that just wants to make you laugh. If we keep the original copy, we will have a film that many people have already said they love and a film many Star Wars fans will go an see. Letís hope that the nice people at Weinstein donít screw this up.

MTFBWY
Peter Taylor

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by missbliss Jan 15th, 2008
05:00:42 AM

I saw fanboys at celebration europe...

... and it was one of the best movies I have seen last year. Removing the cancer plot would be totally pointless, I mean, that is the one thing that moves the plot forward, and that is what makes the movie special. The movie was brilliant, editing it out because some people responded badly will just turn this movie into a formulaic, bland comedy that we have seen way too many times. I have had my run ins with cancer, and I have lost family and friends to cancer, and still the movie made me laugh out loud many, many times.

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Terminally-ill, cancer-stricken friend is the motivation!
by Alice Cooper Stalker Jan 15th, 2008
05:40:27 AM

I'm no insider. Haven't seen the film or anything like that. My general understanding of the film is that it's the friend's cancer that drives them to commit an illegal act like break into Lucasfilm and steal the film. With the sick friend, they are good guys risking a rap sheet for a higher purpose..their friendship with the guys who is dying. Without the cancer angle these are just a bunch of criminals. My ability to rally behind their cause significantly decreases. It's like the Make a Wish foundation without terminally-ill kids. Then it just feels like some bratty kid wants something big like a trip to Disney. What's the motivator? Why should people reach into their pockets, donate money, and believe? They have sympathy becase of the illness. Shauna Robertson needs to get a clue.

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Obi_Wannabe
Date Posted: 2/14 7:43am
Subject: RE: Fanboys

I'm not sure I want to pay theater prices to see a film about crazed fans breaking into Lucasfilm to steal Phantom Menace just because they're "wacky fans".

I'd rather wait for the inevitable Director's Cut DVD Release to watch a film about passionate Star Wars fans who break into Lucasfilm to steal Phantom Menace as a wonderfully touching gesture for their friend dying of cancer.

Just a thought.

Studio please be reading this.

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Respect the fanboys, damn it.
by AdrianVeidt Jan 14th, 2008
04:12:04 PM

Honestly, if you're going to call yourself that, then fucking respect those that you are basing the movie off of - us the fans. We are the ones who made Star Wars what it still is today. We are the ones who make it live on, and always live on, through posters and memorabilia and every ounce of marketing that we embrace as collector's items. We are the ones that could finally have a voice and a representation in a movie named after us. Respect us. Respect us as we desperately cry out for you to keep the soul of this movie intact.

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In addition to being pushed back, there are rumors floating around that thereís a re-edit of film where any mention of Ďcancerí is being cut out, which completely changes the tone of the movie from a bunch of folks trying to do something nice (albeit illegally) for a dying friend to a bunch of selfish punks who just want to steal a movie for the sake of stealing a movie.

Hollywood masterminds at work, or underhanded campaign to get the internet fans all riled up? Only time will tell.

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Blu // Jan 15, 2008 at 8:22 pm

Wow. I hope that isnít true. I agree that without the cancer plot, theyíre just a bunch of punks trying to break into The Ranch.

They showed footage at San Diego Comic Con in 2006 and 2007. I remember seeing a bit with the illness storyline, and it was really well done. I hope the suits donít screw this one up. Too bad the creators couldnít stay indie.

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Mark Newbold // Jan 20, 2008 at 1:25 pm

Agreed, thisa is a film that a lot of fans have been very eager to see for a LONG time, and if this apparent edit has been done, theyíve misjudged the fan base severely.

Sure, the cancer storyline would be a sad one to have to watch play itself out, but thatís life. And Star Wars, for us die-hard fans, certainly understand the Ďreal worldí is going on outside, so why do such an edit? What, canít we handle it or something?

Really hope this is a case of internet folk getting their wires crossed, becaus believe it or not, Iím never ashamed to shed a tear or two if the material deserves it (well, apart from Matrix revolutions, I cried for an entirely different reason over that).

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Fanboys - Linus Must Die!
If you've heard about the movie Fanboys, you might be wondering what's going on with it, seeing how it was promoted as coming out on Jan 18, 2008 for a while. Now, before you go looking for local showtimes, the movie wasn't released on Jan 18.

There is no new release date yet, though the word is that it'll start showing nationwide on US screens in March or April this year. While that is reasonable good news, other things are going on that do not seem to bode well for the movie.

The original storyline was that a group of Star Wars fans travels across country to break into Skywalker Ranch so that one of their own can see Episode I. He has cancer and would not live to see it when it is released in theaters. That's the movie that Ernie Cline and Adam Goldberg wrote and that Kyle Newman shot. However, for some strange reason, The Powers That Be have taken over and reshot a lot of footage to remove the whole cancer storyline from the movie. Now, the whole break-in ploy plays like a whimsical stunt.

Fact is that there were test screenings in the LA area in January and February 2008. Both versions of the movie were shown (to different teenage audiences) to see which version would rate better. And from the looks of it, I'd say there wasn't an overwhelming outcry to go with the cancer storyline rather than the cancer-free one. Which is just very sad.

I have been following the movie for close to two years now. I've been in touch with the director and other people involved. This movie is very dear to me because I believed in it being a refreshing comedy that still had a wonderful emotional core. A movie that would make you laugh and possibly also cry. Now my heart is bleeding at what they're apparently planning to do. And I just can't see the Weinstein's justification for it.

I have also been going to the IMDb Fanboys board of late to see what others thought and if there were reactions from people who had seen the no-cancer plot version (a.k.a. the Corporate Cut of the movie). There were two or three teenagers who posted they really liked it. However, upon engaging them in conversation, they admitted to not even knowing there was another version of the movie before coming to IMDb. Some even thought that the Corporate Cut was the version originally shot and that they were trying to add the cancer storyline to the movie. How backward is that?

One thing that I would like to point out especially is that one person said he enjoyed the Corporate Cut a lot because of all the Star Wars references, being a big Star Wars fan. He actually said you have to be a Star Wars fan to like the movie. But the girl sitting next to him didn't really know Star Wars and didn't get the references, was even appalled at how ridiculous the movie was. In the end her reaction was that she thought the movie was another "Superbad", only with nerdier geeks. Is that really what the Weinsteins want their target audience to think about the movie?

Also, the questionnaire they handed out after the test screenings was very sneaky. The audience was never told that another version of the movie exists. They were also not asked directly whether the viewers would prefer the non-cancer to the cancer version. Instead they were asking the test viewers to pick options of things to be included in the plot, and one of them was to add that one of the characters is dying of cancer. Yeah, how many people would pick that option if they knew nothing about what was really going on, and knew nothing about how the cancer plot would be driving the whole story and the characters' actions? VERY sneaky, Darth Weinstein! If not to say craftily back-stabbing and manipulative.

Someone of the pro-cancer storyline faction on IMDb brought up a very good point. What does the Corporate Cut really have to offer those who aren't die-hard Star Wars fans? I'm short of an answer. Would this be a movie that you can take your girlfriend to and still expect her to enjoy it (unless she's a die-hard fan herself)? Let me guess. She'll, like, think it's totally, like, ridiculous and just another Superbad, only with nerdier geeks. The original version of the movie has something to offer both our regular viewer and the die-hard Star Wars fan. Because if you're not getting all the inside jokes, at least you're having a few giggles and are enjoying a heartfelt story with an emotional core. Can't really say it sounds like the Corporate Cut will offer anything else than maybe a few giggles. But only if you're a Star Wars fan.

Luckily, some fans are more outspoken than others. A group of Star Wars fans to whom the movie is just as dear as it is to me have created a site that'll hopefully help the public protest. Please visit the Stop Darth Weinstein site at http://beam.to/stopdarthweinstein   and join our cause!

But enough whining for today. Let me leave you with something that gave me a tiny bit of hope: Ernest Cline (the original author of Fanboys) has posted his thoughts on the movie and recent developments and some very interesting and entertaining behind-the-scenes stuff in his blog. You can read it here: http://www.ernestcline.com/blog

I really hope the Weinsteins make the smart decision here. May The Force Be With The Original Version Of The Movie!

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Dear Rebellion,

I am happy to say that I wholeheartedly join your ranks in the rebellion against the Weinstein Company.  I was one of many many people who saw the 45 minutes worth of clips at Celebration 4 in Los Angeles and FELL IN LOVE WITH IT!!!  I cannot express how completely JEALOUS I was when I heard that Celebration Europe was getting an ENTIRE rough cut!!!

The Movie was great--well rounded characters, an original plot, and a realistic view on a serious subject--cancer.  The jokes ranged from so obvious that anyone could understand them, to very subtle that only "uber-fans" could get.  The characters were portrayed as truly caring for one another, and not letting anything stop them from fulfilling their friend's last wish.  Also, if the cancer plot is removed, does that not in essence remove Carrie Fisher's cameo?  Would this not be a very UNWISE thing to do in a movie that is intended for Star Wars fans?  In fact, the cancer plot is the one that got Kevin Spacey interested in it in the first place--he is one of the producers.  Also it is the cancer storyline that won over George Lucas and gave the Weinstein Company the right to use REGISTERED TRADEMARK sounds, music and other items.  In my humble opinion, the Weinstein company has broken faith not only with the fans, but with very powerful companies and entities.  This could very soon have unfavorable repercussions for the Weinstein company..

  A few weeks ago I saw The Bucket List, which completely destroys the so-called research done about the word "cancer" in a movie.  In the Bucket List, the work "cancer" was said, followed by a joke 15 SECONDS later.  Guess what? THE AUDIENCE LAUGHED!!!  This audience was mostly older adults too, who are more likely to deal with cancer in some way than many other demographic groups.

The Weinstein Company refuses to listen to the very people that sign their checks--us, the movie-going audience.  Star Wars fans are normal everyday people from all walks of life.  We just happen to share a passion for Star Wars.  Removing the cancer plot from Fanboys will turn it into a mindless, unfunny movie that will never earn a penny of my money.  However, the original cut would not only earn my theater dollars (probably multiple times) but my DVD money as well.  If the Weinstein Company insists on releasing a heartless, dumb, and completely anti-fan movie, they will not receive any money from me in any form.  I will not rent, buy, or purchase theater tickets for ANY Weinstein film.  If money is all that they love, then that is what the WON'T receive!

I encourage EVERYONE to send Polite but firm letters (yes snail mail!) to the Weinstein company.  I suggest NOT IDENTIFYING YOURSELF AS A STAR WARS FAN ON THE OUTSIDE ENVELOPE IN ANY WAY!!  If they know what is in the envelope--they will just toss it.  If they do NOT know, they have to at least open the envelope.  While email is a great idea--and I have sent many--paper gets more attention.  Also, if the mail is sent as signature required, it may end up higher in the Weinstein ranks--just some suggestions.

Thanks so much to the technically savvy people that are putting forth so much effort for this and many other sites and blogs on this movie and issue.  May the Force be with us!

Megan S.
 


Hey there... for sure I wanna go out and help boycott this film... Fanboys (the original cut) is such a good movie... I was lucky to see it in Burbank in January - with the cancer subplot. I also was lucky enough to be in the focus group, and i think all but one person said they liked the plot - it really moved the film along, and gave them a reason to steal the movie.  So yeah, I am in LA - so let me know when/where to be and ill be there!
 
G. Dumas

Here's another great review of the Celebration Europe screening on Jedi News.


If you saw the rough cut of Fanboys at a screening in Los Angeles
or at Celebration Europe, please e-mail us your review
and we'll add it to the review page!


 

stopdarthweinstein@yahoo.com