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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)

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The Best Of The Last

Portlandia Goes Out With A Bang

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The end is near. In mere days Portlandia wraps up its final season, and oh what a season it’s been. Lucky for you, you can watch the entire season right now right here and on the IFC app, including this free episode courtesy of Subaru.

But now, let’s take a moment to look back at some of the new classics Fred and Carrie have so thoughtfully bestowed upon us. (We’ll be looking back through tear-blurred eyes, but you do you.)

Couples Dinner

It’s not that being single sucks, it’s that you suck if you’re single.

Cancel it!

A sketch for anyone who has cancelled more appointments than they’ve kept. Which is everyone.

Forgotten America

This one’s a “Serial” killer…everything both right and wrong about true crime podcasts.

Wedding Planners

The only bad wedding is a boring wedding.

Disaster Hut

It’s only the end of the world if your doomsday kit doesn’t include rosé.

Catch up on Portlandia’s final episodes on demand and at

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Your Portlandia Personality Test

The New Portlandia Webseries Is Going Your Way

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Carrie and Fred understand that although we have so much in common, we’re each so beautifully unique and different. To help us navigate those differences, Portlandia has found an easy and honest way to embrace our special selves in the form of a progressive new traffic system: a specific lane for every kind of driver. It’s all in honor of the show’s 8th and final season, and it’s all presented by Subaru.

Ready to find out who you really are? Match your personality to a lane and hop on the expressway to self-understanding.

Lane 10: Trucks Piled With Junk

Your junk is falling out of your trunk. Shake a tail light, people — this lane is for you.

Lane 33: Twins

You’re like a Gemini, but waaaay more pedestrian. Maybe you and a friend just wear the same outfits a lot. Who cares, it’s just twinning enough to make you feel special.

Lane 27: Broken Windows

Bad luck follows you around and everyone knows it. Your proverbial seat is always damp from proverbial rain. Is this the universe telling you to swallow your pride? Yes.

Lane 69: Filthy Cars

You’re all about convenience. Getting your car washed while you drive is a no-brainer.

Lane 43: Newly Divorced Singles

It’s been a while since you’ve driven alone, and you don’t know the rules of the road anymore. What’s too fast? What’s too slow? Are you sending the right signals? Don’t worry, the breakdown lane is nearby if you need it.

Still can’t find a lane to match your personality? Check out all the videos here. And see the final season of Portlandia this spring on IFC.

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Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

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GIFs via Giphy, Photos via The Everett Collection

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