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Defeating Darth Weinstein.

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03252008_fanboys.jpgHillary Clinton may be the Harvey Weinstein of politics, but Harvey Weinstein remains the, well, Harvey Weinstein of Indiewood. That Oscar mojo seems to be gone, but the man still knows how to grandly mistreat a film — take “Fanboys,” that long-anticipated comedy about four “Star Wars” megafans who embark on a 1998 road trip to Skywalker Ranch, intending to break in, steal “The Phantom Menace” and become the first fans to have seen the film.

Written for fans, by fans, “Fanboys” was attracting buzz on the web and in the “Star Wars” community back in 2005, with early footage being shown to adoring crowds at Comic-Con. George Lucas gave it his blessing; Kevin Smith wanted a cameo. The Weinstein Company picked up “Fanboys” for an August 2007 release… which turned into a January 2008 release, which turned into no release date at all — a cancer storyline was considered problematic, and there were reshoots with a different director — “Drillbit Taylor”‘s Steven Brill. Word got out that two versions of the film, one de-illnessed and raunched up against the wishes of the original filmmakers, were being tested for audiences. According to the Hollywood Reporter: ” ‘Harvey feels it’s hard to market, especially with this cast,’ an insider said. ‘He wants to market to a more teen audience. The filmmakers wanted a dramedy along the vein of ‘Stand by Me.’ ‘”

It’s a familiar tale of woe for those who’ve tracked Weinstein’s tendencies to shelve and chop, but the “Star Wars” contingent has proven itself to be a force (hyuck!) to be reckoned with, and might even have Harvey on the run. Rallying behind the website Stop Darth Weinstein and threatening a boycott of all Weinstein Co. films — including a planned protest at this week’s opening of the studio’s latest, “Superhero Movie,” not a feature that looks like it could stand up to much ire — fans frightened the Weinstein Co. into responded yesterday. A press release assured that both versions of the film would be released on DVD, though nothing solid regarding a theatrical release was committed to.

Not enough for the people behind the site, who are planning on going through with protest, with two particular big locations in mind: The AMC Empire 25 in New York and the AMC Century City 15 in L.A. at 7pm on the 28th. Eric Kohn at Stream observes:

The case of Fanboys is ultimately a unique one, marking the evolution of the audience into something more powerful than it has ever been before. At SXSW, Four Eyed Monsters co-creator Susan Buice suggested, at a roundtable discussion hosted by Bside Entertainment, that “fans” no longer exist; they have been replaced by “peers.” Consumers now feel that they have the power to interact directly with their chosen mode of entertainment. In the case of Fanboys, these peers are creating their own personalized democracy. More power to ’em.

Wired has a feature on “Fanboys,” talking to screenwriter Ernie Cline about the power of fandom:

In 1993, a conversation at Gen Con, the convention for tabletop-game aficionados, devolved into a volley of quotes from the Arthurian spoof Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Cline had a revelation: “I said to myself, I bet every person at Gen Con knows the movie by heart. I bet I could ask people to get up onstage and reenact it on the spot.’ And I was right.”

Cline hastily assembled an amateur cast to act out the entire film from memory. The impromptu performance drew huge crowds. It was instructive for Cline. “I learned that I could tap into this,” he says. “I could enlist other fans to assist in my insane ideas.”

[Photo: “Fanboys,” Weinstein Company/MGM, 2008]

+ Fans press Weinstein on ‘Fanboys’ (Hollywood Reporter)
+ Stop Darth Weinstein
+ Helping Fans with ‘Fanboys’ (Stream)
+ It’s a Wrap! Ernie Cline Has Written the Ultimate Star Wars Fan Movie (Wired)


Hacked In

Funny or Die Is Taking Over

FOD TV comes to IFC every Saturday night.

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We’ve been fans of Funny or Die since we first met The Landlord. That enduring love makes it more than logical, then, that IFC is totally cool with FOD hijacking the airwaves every Saturday night. Yes, that’s happening.

The appropriately titled FOD TV looks like something pulled from public access television in the nineties. Like lo-fi broken-antenna reception and warped VHS tapes. Equal parts WTF and UHF.

Get ready for characters including The Shirtless Painter, Long-Haired Businessmen, and Pigeon Man. They’re aptly named, but for a better sense of what’s in store, here’s a taste of ASMR with Kelly Whispers:

Watch FOD TV every Saturday night during IFC’s regularly scheduled movies.


Wicked Good

See More Evil

Stan Against Evil Season 1 is on Hulu.

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GIFs via Giphy

Okay, so you missed the entire first season of Stan Against Evil. There’s no shame in that, per se. But here’s the thing: Season 2 is just around the corner and you don’t want to lag behind. After all, Season 1 had some critical character development, not to mention countless plot twists, and a breathless finale cliffhanger that’s been begging for resolution since last fall. It also had this:


The good news is that you can catch up right now on Hulu. Phew. But if you aren’t streaming yet, here’s a basic primer…

Willards Mill Is Evil

Stan spent his whole career as sheriff oblivious to the fact that his town has a nasty curse. Mostly because his recently-deceased wife was secretly killing demons and keeping Stan alive.

Demons Really Want To Kill Stan

The curse on Willards Mill stipulates that damned souls must hunt and kill each and every town sheriff, or “constable.” Oh, and these demons are shockingly creative.


They Also Want To Kill Evie

Why? Because Evie’s a sheriff too, and the curse on Willard’s Mill doesn’t have a “one at a time” clause. Bummer, Evie.

Stan and Evie Must Work Together

Beating the curse will take two, baby, but that’s easier said than done because Stan doesn’t always seem to give a damn. Damn!


Beware of Goats

It goes without saying for anyone who’s seen the show: If you know that ancient evil wants to kill you, be wary of anything that has cloven feet.


Season 2 Is Lurking

Scary new things are slouching towards Willards Mill. An impending darkness descending on Stan, Evie and their cohort – eviler evil, more demony demons, and whatnot. And if Stan wants to survive, he’ll have to get even Stanlier.

Stan Against Evil Season 1 is now streaming right now on Hulu.



Reminders that the ’90s were a thing

"The Place We Live" is available for a Jessie Spano-level binge on Comedy Crib.

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GIFs via Giphy

Unless you stopped paying attention to the world at large in 1989, you are of course aware that the ’90s are having their pop cultural second coming. Nobody is more acutely aware of this than Dara Katz and Betsy Kenney, two comedians who met doing improv comedy and have just made their Comedy Crib debut with the hilarious ’90s TV throwback series, The Place We Live.

IFC: How would you describe “The Place We Live” to a fancy network executive you just met in an elevator?

Dara: It’s everything you loved–or loved to hate—from Melrose Place and 90210 but condensed to five minutes, funny (on purpose) and totally absurd.

IFC: How would you describe “The Place We Live” to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

Betsy: “Hey Todd, why don’t you have a sip of water. Also, I think you’ll love The Place We Live because everyone has issues…just like you, Todd.”


IFC: When you were living through the ’90s, did you think it was television’s golden age or the pop culture apocalypse?

Betsy: I wasn’t sure I knew what it was, I just knew I loved it!

Dara: Same. Was just happy that my parents let me watch. But looking back, the ’90s honored The Teen. And for that, it’s the golden age of pop culture. 

IFC: Which ’90s shows did you mine for the series, and why?

Betsy: Melrose and 90210 for the most part. If you watch an episode of either of those shows you’ll see they’re a comedic gold mine. In one single episode, they cover serious crimes, drug problems, sex and working in a law firm and/or gallery, all while being young, hot and skinny.

Dara: And almost any series we were watching in the ’90s, Full House, Saved By the Bell, My So Called Life has very similar themes, archetypes and really stupid-intense drama. We took from a lot of places. 


IFC: How would you describe each of the show’s characters in terms of their ’90s TV stereotype?

Dara: Autumn (Sunita Mani) is the femme fatale. Robin (Dara Katz) is the book worm (because she wears glasses). Candace (Betsy Kenney) is Corey’s twin and gives great advice and has really great hair. Corey (Casey Jost) is the boy next door/popular guy. Candace and Corey’s parents decided to live in a car so the gang can live in their house. 
Lee (Jonathan Braylock) is the jock.

IFC: Why do you think the world is ready for this series?

Dara: Because everyone’s feeling major ’90s nostalgia right now, and this is that, on steroids while also being a totally new, silly thing.

Delight in the whole season of The Place We Live right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib. It’ll take you back in all the right ways.