Cavalcade of DVDs: Fanboys, MacFarlane, Galaxy Quest

My quest to find Mega Shark vs. Giant Octopus failed yesterday, as it appears to be on back order everywhere. To fill the void, I picked up some other recent releases to discuss today.


Title: Fanboys
Directed by: Kyle Newman
Written by: Ernest Cline, Adam F. Goldberg
Starring: Sam Huntington, Chris Marquette, Dan Fogler, Jay Baruchel, Kristen Bell

I didn’t see Fanboys when it was in theaters, though I was a fervent supporter of the movie, sight-unseen. Perhaps I should be more discriminating in the future. My philosophy, and the philosophy of this site, is that fanboys are fun, fabulous and resourceful. The characters in Fanboys are unpleasant, obnoxious, homophobic bullies who serve only to perpetuate the stereotype that fanboys are losers. The filmmakers seem less concerned that these characters are fundamentally unlikeable than they are that viewers might think they’re gay. They repeatedly make the point that the only thing worse than being a Star Wars fan is being gay. Needless to say, it makes an unpleasant movie all the more tiresome. The idea of this movie is still a good one, but a good fanboys movie is still waiting to be made.



Title: Seth MacFarlane’s Cavalcade of Cartoon Comedy
Starring: Seth MacFarlane, Seth Green

I’m a minor Family Guy fan. A big American Dad fan. And I have a little crush on Seth MacFarlane. So, I had limited expectations going into Cavalcade. I understand the clips comprising the DVD were intended for online viewing, which makes more sense. There’s no music soundtrack to the clips, so where a lot of the jokes could use some sort of stinger or musical cue, there’s only silence. This seemingly unimportant detail actually makes a big difference, as the stream of clips feel more like unfinished outtakes from Family Guy than a cohesive collection of toons. While the uncensored format of a DVD allows MacFarlane to go to new scatalogical highs (lows?), that doesn’t automatically make something funny. Overall, the funny is what’s missing here. In fact, the most laughs you’re likely to get is from watching the one and only bonus feature: coverage of the lackluster premiere of the shorts. A vapid interviewer asks the attending celebrities, and even MacFarlane himself, for a definition of “cavalcade” to mostly silence and stammering. And it’s that sort of thing I expect Macfarlane to be skewering.



Title: Galaxy Quest (Deluxe Edition)
Directed by: Dean Parisot
Written by: David Howard, Robert Gordon
Starring: Tim Allen, Sigourney Weaver, Alan Rickman, Tony Shalhoub, Sam Rockwell

By Grabthar’s Hammer, it’s been 10 years since Galaxy Quest was unleashed upon the world! I’ve seen this movie dozens of times, and always have to stop and watch it if it’s on when I’m flipping channels. The film itself holds up well after all these years, and I still chuckle and even laugh out loud at the jokes, mostly thanks to Alan Rickman’s timing and Sigourney Weaver’s moments of rage. Watching this right after Fanboys, I was delighted to rediscover the positive portrayal of fanboys in Galaxy Quest. Smart, resourceful and loyal, they make great heroes. In terms of packaging, the DVD cover art has received a makeover for this Deluxe Edition. Sigourney has now moved front and center, with Rickman and Tim Allen flanking her. And the cover sleeve is a lenticular, showing the cast both subdued and in action. The new special features include a surprising number of interviews with the cast and creators, discussing making the film, its influence and its lasting legacy. The best parts of these interviews, though, are the recollections of the fun and camaraderie the cast and crew shared during the making of the movie. There are some fun insights and revelations here, but the less said about Sigourney’s rap solo, the better. Plus, at $9.99, it’s a must-have addition to your DVD collection. My only complaint is that there’s no Blu-ray version yet. But…never give up…never surrender! Hopefully, the 10th anniversary will inspire some action figures!

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