Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Fanboys Panel

Next up we grabbed a front row seat for the Fanboys Panel. Now I'll be completely honest, the only reason we went to this panel was because Kristen Bell was going to be there. It's a cute idea for a movie and I like the Star Wars movies and all (though I don't think it's the second coming like so many other people), but it was all for Kristen.

They started off by playing a clip, SPOILER ALERT we'll be giving a synopsis of most of the scenes, so if you don't want to know anything skip to the next paragraph. The first clip started off in a house party rocking to Chumba Wumba (they did their best to make the music and the rest of the mi sen scene historically accurate) that quickly gets ambushed by 2 Storm Troopers and Darth Vader. Quickly the figures unmask because one of the Storm Trooper's cod-piece is hurting him, and it's 3 of our main characters Hutch played by Dan Fogler (Balls of Fury), Linus played by Chris Marquette (Joan of Arcadia) and Windows played by Jay Baruchel (Numbers). There's a funny line where one of the characters says "When it came time for battle Boba Fett was like freaking Michael Bay all style and no substance" Then the 3 friends are re-united with their old friend Eric played by Sam Huntington (Jimmy Olsen in Superman Returns), 2 of the old friends are happy to see Sam but it's obvious Linus, is hurt by there long separation. Then the next clip we see Kristin! Now let me tell you guys Kristen is a beautiful woman but they give her a dorky haircut and make her a brunette so she's not as "hot" as normal, but who cares I'm just happy she's working!

The lights came on and the director Kyle Newman came out and introduced his cast, Dan Fogler, Chris Marquette and the producers Matt Perniciaro and Dana Brunetti. Where's Kristen? What the FRAK? (I'm such a poser I've never even seen the new Battlestar Galactica, I know, I know, I'm busy!!!) So they start by playing a clip from the movie. Just for a quick overview this movie is set in 1998 before the Phantom Menace came out, and the main characters are Star Wars obsessed Fan Boys trying to break into the Skywalker Ranch to steal a cut of the movie so their friend dying of cancer can see it before he goes the way of the first Death Star.

SPOILER ALERT

The next clip had the 3 characters who cos-played in the party hanging out and playing Mario Kart 64 (AWESOME!!!! one of the best multi-player games EVER!) when there's a knock at the door. It's Eric and he wants to talk with Linus. They go outside and argue, Linus feels abandoned and Eric feels like he grew up because he had to and he was the only one (out of their friends) to do so. During the argument they made a lot of funny Star Wars references including when Eric accused Linus of "Wasting your life in Hutch's (Dan Fogler) garage arguing whether or not Luke really had a thing for Leia" where Linus replied "No! anybody knows that as soon as Luke knew Leia was his sister it was hands off" and there was some funny dialogue after but I'm not the Grinch I won't spoil everything...just some things.


So they ended the clip and the lights came back on and all of the sudden the director announced Kristen Bell has arrived!!! She creeped up to the seat and the crowd went wild. The director talked about Lucas being incredibly supportive and letting them shoot at the Ranch, he also described the movie as a "Love Letter" to the Star Wars movies, this worried me because the last time someone described their movie as a "Love Letter" it was Bryan Singer talking about Superman Returns. The director described the story's backdrop of 1998 before the Phantom Menace came out, "Regardless of your feelings about the Phantom Menace, it takes place in that special time when it's about the anticipation what it could be and all that matters is that everyone together was excited about it as fans...because that was the best time to be a fanboy."

SPOILER ALERT

The next clip they played had the amazing Danny Trejo in it. The guys were sitting around the camp fire eating guacamole that they soon find out is made with peyote. They start hallucinating, the funniest being Hutch getting humped by a Ewok, CLASSIC! Great casting and a very funny scene.

SPOILER ALERT

Then they showed another clip of the guys in the van getting pulled over by the cops, unfortunately they still have some magic cactus so they decide to floor it with an excellent scene dedicated to Han and the Millennium falcon escaping at some point in one of the Star Wars movies (hey I said I wasn't a huge Star Wars fan, but if you are and see this movie you'll know exactly what scene they're alluding too, the one where the hyper-drive won't work). It was a hilarious seen with a great gag at the end as the van crashes through a sign that reads "Join the Police Force" leaving an imprint that looks like Darth's helmet and now reads "Join the Force", it was really excellent.

They made a funny comment about Dan wanting to do the Ewok humping scene over and over again because it was cold out during the shoot, and the director said how surreal it was to give the Ewok humping directions, "Like harder, please stroke his hair, just play with his ear a little"

SPOILER ALERT

Next they showed a clip of them breaking into the Lucas ranch, which was also hilarious. They find a big door mannered after a door in the Death Star (or something) they enter and find Geek Heaven (Fan Boy Heaven) including Darth Vader's Costume, R2D2, Han's outfit, and of course they start playing with all the props. Kristen imitates Leia to R2D2 saying "Help me Obi-Won Kenobi", then we see the security camera room with guards dressed like the guards in THX 1138, they see the Fan Boys and quickly investigate. One of the guards takes off his mask and surprise! it's Ray Park! Darth Maul from Phantom Menace (and Toad in X-Men), and he does a little snazzy martial arts thing, very cool. Then they make a quick escape into the garbage shoot which inevitably leads to the garbage room modeled after the one in Star Wars, with of course crushing walls.

END SPOILERS...FOR A LITTLE BIT

The cast talked about random things they were Fanboys of, Kristen said Hockey (she's from Detroit home of the Red Wings, and Eminem, and Axel Foley, and...cars). Dan Fogler has a big comic collection, and they talked about going weapon shopping in a shady flee market in Mexico that the director described as "where they shot half of the episodes of COPS". They talked about the how much fun eveyone had on set, how the fans in Albuquerque helped them out by showing up to a scene in their Star Wars outfits. Some one asked if George Lucas will be in the movie, the director said his voice will be in it, except he doesn't know it yet, but he's still trying to get him.
Someone asked Kristen about her donning the infamous Leia bikini and you can see her response HERE

Someone asked what Kristen's next project is (after that person called the CW assholes for cancelling Veronica Mars, right on sista!!)"I just got done shooting a comedy called Forgetting Sarah Marshall in Hawaii that should come out next year by the makers of Knocked up" I'm guessing these pictures are from the set (hey don't call me a perv, she's 4 months older than me!)

There's some notable appearance's in the film by William Shatner, Carrie Fisher, Billy Dee Willams, Seth Rogen (he plays all the bad guys), Kevin Smith, and Jason Mewes is on the DVD (supposedly he was too dirty for the film).

SPOILER ALERT

They showed a clip before they left of the cast in the van singing their rendition of what I believe was the bar song played in Jabba's bar in Return of the Jedi (if it turns out to be the first movie, sorry that's just my best guess).

That's pretty much it, all and all it was a great panel. I wasn't really that interested in the movie itself, but after watching the clips I think we'll definitely check it out. Though I would recommend watching the original trilogy first so that you get all of the allusions, because there is a plethora of them, but it looks hilarious and clearly looks like the best Star Wars themed buddy comedy cancer tragedy to come out next year.

--Dave

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